Q&A  

How to tap into a company’s data potential

How to tap into a company’s data potential
 Credit: Serpstat/Pexels

Q. How can companies leverage their data for more effective governance?

A. Data-driven decision making, supported by vast swathes of meaningful management information, is the holy grail of any business.

In practice though, most of us cobble together just enough insight to reassure ourselves that everything is under control.

Meanwhile, the huge amounts of data that has already amassed within our business remains as untapped potential.  

As businesses expand and systems grow more complex – or we are hit with a global pandemic – data-savvy businesses generally find it easier to adapt.

Because when executives have access to the right information, then detailed but still relevant, focused oversight and good governance is all the more achievable.

This is why regulators across the world are pushing for an industry that holds governance, accountability and ethical conduct at its core – both the cause and the effect of a healthy culture.

Most businesses already have the data they need for effective governance and a culture of responsibility at their fingertips.

More often than not, the sticking point is the ability to tap into it. And when they do, they find themselves opening a Pandora’s box that creates more problems than it solves. 

Here are my top tips for making the most of your data for more effective governance. 

• Plug in to your existing systems.

A company’s data is usually a complex network of information spread across systems, from spreadsheets to HR systems, that are largely stored in silos and none of which talk to each other. Investing in a platform that can consolidate all that intelligence is the first step. 

The most powerful platforms can also tap into more intangible sources of intel, like staff sentiment and patterns of communication, by connecting to channels like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

This is also the most efficient way to bridge the gap between what you think is happening and what is actually happening.

• Use expert resource.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Companies often get bogged down in pools of data and end up abandoning the crucial processing and analysis stage – it’s just too time-consuming and there aren’t enough hands on deck.

Invest in skilled resource, or draft in the help of a trusted external partner, to unlock the story the data is telling you. 

They can also be useful for training and upskilling the rest of your workforce, enabling a widescale shift to a data mindset and ensuring best practice across the board.