According to W. Edwards Deming, “the fundamental job of a leader is prediction.”

To do this, you need data— the right data presented in the right way so you can make the right decisions.

Mid-sized and large corporations are hiring and training an army of “business intelligence” analysts so that they can capture, analyze, evaluate and leverage all sorts of data to do a better job at sales, marketing, customer service, creating the best team, and increasing profits. 

And they will use this information to target your customers and gain market share.

Facebook Google and Amazon and Netflix and Youtube know more about us that some of our friends and they are using it to sell us more products and services.

But all is not lost, your business can do the same even without the same volume of data and spending millions on fancy math majors and software.

I suggest that a place to start is to implement four “Rockefeller Habits”:

Rockefeller Habit #5. Gather Employee Input

Rockefeller Habit #6. Gather Customer Input

  • These should be regular parts of your intelligence gathering, topics for discussion at your weekly management meeting, and inputs for your quarterly and annual planning cycle.
  • Customer and employee data provide insights about what your company does well, needs to improve, and opportunities to provide something your competitors do not [for a competitive advantage]

The next Rockefeller Habit that is relevant to your data gathering is:

#9. Key Performance Indicators KPI for Everyone

  • Employees want to know “did I have a great day or week?”- having a clear and simple KPI can let them know this and keep their focus and efforts aligned with department and company goals.

Lastly, if every department and individual has the right KPI for your business, the most beneficial way to use all this data to evaluate, motivate and re-prioritize is to implement:

Rockefeller Habit #10. Scoreboards Everywhere [see below for last week’s email “8 Benefits of a Dashboard for your Business.”

  • These Habits are part of an “Accountability Management System”– where you have a single place to capture, track, review, evaluate, and use all your Data for strategic thinking and implementation planning.

It may sound a bit daunting, but we have seen clients develop their KPI and dashboards in about 3 months, and then build the habits to incorporate into their “execution rhythm” in another 3 months [or sooner.]

Flying with instruments calibrated to your journey is definitively more effective than flying blind.