We all the know the saying: “What gets measured, gets managed”, but does it?
We all love information on our own businesses, but in practice do we really have the time or inclination to interpret everything that is available?
There’s a great article by Benjamin Spiegel on the ineffectiveness of throwing wads of data at clients, rather than just focusing on the actionable insights that the data reveals. It got us thinking about what this means to agencies in their own businesses.
So much more can be measured now than ever before. If you are one of the lucky ones that can scrape together the time to interpret these gems, do you also have the time to implement any changes needed, based on the data?
Why measure what you are not prepared to manage?
Agency management systems on the market today have hundreds of out-of-the-box reports, and various plugins that allow a business to pull, sum, and slice the data every which way. The one common trait we have seen in agencies that report on anything and everything – they struggle to turn all that information into a strategy they can action in practice, or a point of view they can execute.
There are of course businesses that have teams in place to help measure the information and recognise the problems. But more often than not, what we’re seeing in these businesses is while they have all the information they need, they either don’t have the time, or are just not prepared to manage their teams through any change. This is a different issue completely but both boil down to the same thing: lack of focus.
We’re not saying agencies should forget about looking at their businesses analytically. But rather they should look at their own strategies and focus on data that supports their strategic goals.
If you’re an agency that starts sharing those business goals (and the performance metrics associated) with your team, you will ensure you are working together towards a common purpose.
Once you have this focus and the sense of purpose then you can start measuring. Communicate. Measure. Communicate. Measure. Communicate. Evolve.
Evolution is the cream on the cake. At this point your performance should improve and through engaging your team in the journey you will gain new anecdotal insights. These insights will give you a new point of data to focus on and as a team you can evolve your strategy and fine tune your information.
After all, what’s the point in accumulating business data if you’re not going to take the time to manage the outcomes?
Helen Johnson is a Business Systems & Workflow Consultant and the Founder of Tangram Consulting.
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