I’ve had a couple of well-travelled weeks talking with both private and public sector leaders. It’s clear that world of information is very much on the agenda. And that’s great to hear.
You hear a ‘but’, and you’re right.
Some organisations are making advances with their information strategies but are focusing only on the ‘new’. Others haven’t put too much thought into it but are well aware of the potential opportunity. What is clear is that organisations don’t have a defined way forward for developing and implementing an information strategy that supports vision and change.
What’s great to see and hear is that organisations are open to listening and happy to engage in two way dialogue to explore this ‘new world’. They quickly find out that the ‘age of information’ is not so ‘new’, but has advanced far past the simple provision of implementing business intelligence systems, management information and using masses of spread sheets.
Now there’s multiple facets to an organisation’s information provision, and each needs careful consideration to asses what’s needed, and what adds value. There’s no point in implementing a big data team if your organisation isn’t in a position to use it. There’s a skill to ensuring the implementation of an information strategy (or even part of) is integrated with the rest of the organisation’s change plan, and business as usual.
Organisations should be careful not to ‘jump on the band wagon’ implementing data teams, insight provisions and predictive analytics (taking a couple of examples) without considering how the organisation functions day to day. There needs to be a co-existence for both the new exciting insight and the current information we manage our organisations with.
The most eye opening observation of the past two weeks has been this – People are forgetting that organisations are not run by ‘data’. You can’t just throw information at people and hope they act on it. Organisations are run by experienced and savvy people, leaders and visionaries who more than often do not possess the technical prowess or understanding of the modern 20 something. It doesn’t matter how great insight is delivered at this level – what matters is it’s aligned, understandable and adds value.
As leaders, promoters and supporters of the ‘information age’ we should be prepared to understand and support organisations leaders by helping them to understand, find, absorb and dissect the vast amounts of information available, and embed it into the very fabric of their organisation’s strategy. We must present information in insightful ways and clearly articulate why it matters and what it’s telling us.
information | insight | intelligence