“It would be great if we could return to just delivering our product (or service) and stop focusing so much on data.”
When we review the confidential responses of business leaders and key players to our data assessment, we often come across people saying the unsayable. And that’s good! It’s good to get it out. Realistically, though, we won’t be going back to a time when a widget seller can focus entirely on widgets. The data that used to be a by-product of economic activity has risen in importance. The rise of the data/analytics class within a business has made new stars, but the old stars who used to save 8 cents on every widget made or who increased sales by 3% in the Midwest territory are not always thrilled. Every activity from sourcing materials through delivery of product generates data, and in that data is the hope of operating better, faster and cheaper in existing efforts, and of discovering new, as-yet unthought-of opportunities through analytics. But don’t stop congratulating the old stars as the new stars bring new benefits. In the end, the successful companies will need everybody working to excel within his or her own scope.