"For your company to reach great distances, there’s no better vehicle than information" - Néstor Cordero
Information within organizations has been a critical success factor, from the dawn of industrialization, data generation and their use for strategic management and decision making has marked the fate of companies. From the 20th Century and even more during the 21st, the revolution of information technologies and the implementation of entrepreneurial systems generated an exponential increase in the amount of data provided by a company’s different areas, presenting a challenge for upper management that requires a structured systemic process to be able to transform the sea of data into efficient and effective information which rebound in effective decision making for the organization.
But, how to begin? Business information systems such as ERPs, CRMs, and PPM among others, yield great volumes of information from the processes in a company and the manager and their team may fall under the temptation of wanting to analyze all that information. However, this will take time, building a complex analysis model may take too long, and the rapid change of the environment may punish this decision. Conversely, omitting this information in the process may lead to faster decisions, but with high risk levels and a blindness from the knowledge of the macro and micro environment which may end in catastrophic decisions for their company.
So, it seems that, from the start, the process is damned, and in the same way, the changing environment in organizations makes managerial processes subject to a greater uncertainty (ignorance of possible events and their occurrence probability – N. Taleb). Now, not everything is lost. To face these challenges, the manager must identify from the data the right information at the right time and at the right place.
Here are 3 simple steps that will help improve the managerial information process:
STEP 1 - The Right Information
The first step must be to differentiate data associated to key processes in their business unit or area. These processes must be clear and must be aligned to the company’s mission and its function within the business strategy. This will allow to identify the right information to make a decision.
STEP 2 - At the Right Time
The second thing you and your team must keep in mind is speed. When Heraclitus said in ancient Greece “Change is the only constant”, he didn’t imagine the speed of transformation of the environment in the age of information and communications, changes in consumption trends, competitors, human talent and internal processes, and the speed at which new and fresh data fill the pixels, keeping managers focused on screens. All this can make the difference between a winning strategy and a place in the corporate pantheon.
This way, the second step makes the managerial team establish the clear periodicity to obtain the system’s information. At this point, their managerial information systems can transform into a rival to defeat, they’re designed to provide a competitive advantage (reference) and definitely automate the processes and align organizational intelligence, but rely on incoming information and its facility of access. Here, tools must be integrated to yield the correct data in the shortest possible time. If they want to turn their information services into an ally, they must find a way for keeping the data organized at the right time, guaranteeing the systems are fed in a constant way with the right information, avoiding procrastination and human error in data input.
STEP 3 - On the Right Side
Lastly, for the third step, the information required for decision making must be available to the managerial team in an easy and intuitive manner. Thus, determining the way to show the information and the access system to it is a management decision which mustn’t be taken haphazardly, so the managerial teams must find the right information in the right place.
Managerial systems have offered their business units a great deal of data, the first step is defining which data becomes the right information, accessing it in a quick and efficient way will give the right information at the right time. Visualizing it in an easy, intuitive and accessible way can only be guaranteed if the data is in the right place. This way, your system’s data will become an ally for decision making and fulfill your strategy and secure your company’s competitive advantage.
Related Topic: Top 4 Challenges in ECM (Enterprise Content Management)