Data, by its very nature, is difficult to find and analyze because it’s stored in so many places, with no way to search through it or correlate it across systems to derive meaning from it.
As a recent Fast Company interview with Coveo CEO Louis Têtu stated, people who could remember all of this information, and easily correlate it—mentally—were those who succeeded most often. However, the amount of unstructured data makes it impossible for an individual to know everything that’s occurring related to a specific topic, at any point in time. Add in social media channels which contain up to the minute data, and you have an unbelievably complex information mess. How can an individual, much less all employees in a company, gain insight from such widespread, diverse data in disparate systems?
Well if all of these systems could be connected to each other so we could all understand, assimilate and correlate the information to make effective decisions, provide great service, help customers understand more about our products, and even build more innovative products that contained customer input – from all of our interactions with them—well, that might solve our problem. But would it? Do integrations provide the kind of real-time information mashup that would be required? Not really. Even so, it’s not news that the promise of system consolidation has long eluded companies and we’ve all heard the horror stories about dashboards taking a year to implement, and then they are just windows into different systems rather than actual data mashups.
Every organization wants to generate Insight from its data sources, and many probably think they’re doing a solid job in this area. However, most aren’t gleaning the level of insight they could, and it could be simply that this type of technology is new to the corporate world, though it has been used by consumers for years now – just take a look at Yahoo! Finance to see what I mean.
Until companies adopt the central, unified index approach, they may continue to suffer from what we call “Insight Deficit.” Here are some symptoms that may be familiar to you:
- Employees are frustrated that they need to attend additional training sessions because they can’t see data in the right context.
- Customers are dissatisfied with long response times and feel that your company doesn’t really know them.
- Mistakes happen more than you’d care to admit because employees simply can’t find the information needed to make fast, accurate decisions.
- Products are taking longer to get to market than they should.
If you’re interested in finding out how to think about injecting insight into business processes from customer service to engineering/product development and sales & marketing, you may want to view an eBook we recently published on making 2012 the year of insight for your organization. Please take a look, and share how you are leveraging today’s overload of data to gain better insight into your customers, projects, products and people. Looking forward to the conversation.