Thank you Steve, it’s good once in a while to step back from technology and take an unanalyzed breath.
I agree that reliance on data that has been ridden hard by a cadre of chart jockeys and put up wet does not make for fortuitous business decisions. And certainly such ‘flat’ thinking can and will continue to lead to tragic errors in judgment.
Unfortunately, such tom-foolery is replete in corporate America today and portends bad things for the future. It is my contention that reliance on such system generated data other than for accounting, is actually becoming quite counterproductive.
Whether this plethora of data are used as quality measures, corrective action, or just as a means of ‘taking the pulse’ in a large and complex manufacturing arena, errors get made. The availability of such huge data resources allows those who, in any other arena would be judged as bereft of actual business skills, to assume command.
Trying to float a new business concept among this ilk will at best yield blank stares, or at worst you get black listed.
I liken the need for the daily perusal of extracted and pre-digested data by today’s mid and upper level management as proof of the utter lack of any ‘indigenous business sense’. This sort of management is tantamount to running full tilt through the jungle while looking back over your shoulder. It’s not a matter of if you will end up on your face - but when. Meanwhile, the daily data consumption regimes are becoming addictive.
And as with any substance deemed addictive, there are side effects. Often these side effects take the form of bad business decisions, the justification for deliberate prejudice and too often the inappropriate committal of investment dollars directed at getting more of the same, only faster…..just like a drug addict, it then becomes data for data’s sake, supporting the inept, lying about the past, and intending a particular course for the future action that in fact is completely contradictive.
My personal experience with such ‘data dependent’ organizations is monolithic. By the time the very statistics previously deemed ‘predictive’ slowly begins to indicate a downward spiral, and comes only long after it’s too late to recover they seem astounded. When I look at them and say; “see, I told you this data is weeks and weeks old, it’s not a roadmap to the future it’s just a fuzzy sketch of sort of where you’ve been”.
It’s like talking to dirt –
J G Hicks, 3rd of April, 2013