Seeking insights with spotlights
Digitization sheds light in the dark for surprising insights
Detailed insights into the company, based on meaningful information, are indispensable to guarantee your company’s future and flexibility. Such information is available in most companies, in large quantities. But it is often not visible, accessible or usable. Because systems do not correspond to one another, information cannot be put in relation, or because data are only available in unusable format. Since they cannot be read, they cannot be included in corporate decision-making.
Historic events, handwritten documentation and meeting notes, incident logs or correspondence: Valuable information that could be the key to a company’s success or failure. Add to that the countless data being maintained and managed within isolated systems in various departments, which are virtually invisible across departments, or in some cases even inaccessible from one employee to the next.
To reasonably manage, align and properly digitize companies, limitations dictated by software systems must be broken up to map the individual ‘corporate world’ as accurately as possible. This creates insights in all communication pathways, interactions, links, information, processes and data. Boundaries that are defined by hardware and software systems must be overcome and replaced with logical and necessary connections.
That means a new way of thinking. A complete paradigm shift, away from implemented systems with their limiting functions, and toward a comprehensive, complete map of the company, in which interfaces can be created or eliminated at any time.
The first, and most important, prerequisite is to make all company information visible and accessible without restrictions. That can be achieved by setting up a new, system-independent database. All information that is only available in analog format is read into this database and converted to digital format. In a parallel process, all corporate data are collected, screened and imported from existing software systems. Depending on how far you want the documentation to reach back into the company’s history, current data are supplemented with archived data, which can both be put in relation with current and event-driven information or individually read.
That sounds like a great deal of work – which it is. Although the benefit of this hard work, which only has to be done once, is immense, most entrepreneurs are still satisfied to follow system-side requirements and restrictions and to move within the rigid boundaries dictated by software instead of initiating the process – which keeps them well below their potential options.
A comprehensive and independent database created in the way described above can be compared to a digital fingerprint of the company, in which all processes can be displayed and accessed. This creates completely new perspectives. Such a database can provide a 360° company view, which usually leads to surprising insights: There now is a way to completely reevaluate business units, to identify and revise successful and less successful models, to optimize or divest unprofitable ventures and to develop new business ideas. When this is accompanied by importing event-driven data – in real time – things get really exciting. Previously invisible relationships between events and their effects become evident and open up completely new perspectives for company management.
In this sense, spot on! – You will be surprised how much valuable information your company has to offer, which will not only enable rational management for the future, but make it much easier as well.