Three men were driving across the Midwest to attend a prestigious economic summit. In the car was a CEO of a multibillion dollar company. The second person was the President of prominent Mutual Fund and the third man in the car was a Stock Market Analyst.
While driving through endless miles of farmland their car broke down. They walked miles to the house of a farmer. “Can you put us up for the night?” they asked. The farmer apologized for not having any accommodations but did offer them a place in the barn.
After serving them a farm fresh dinner the three men went off to spend the night in the barn. Thirty minutes later there is a knock at the farmer’s door. It’s the CEO, “please, the noise in the barn is too much, I will be more than happy to sleep on your floor”. The farmer let him in.
Thirty minutes later there was another knock on the door, it was the President of the Mutual Fund. “Please Mr. Farmer, the racquet in the barn is too much, please let me find a spot on your floor to spend the night”. The Farmer obliged.
Fifteen minutes later there is a knock at the farmer’s door. It was the barn animals.
RULE #3 – KEEP THE FACTS IN ALIGNMENT OF WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Trivia and facts have their place. If you have ever been in the presence of a person (stock market technical analyst) whom is filled with trivia and all kinds of data, then you probably had a good laugh at opening joke.
Getting meaningful data to solve a problem requires identifying the problem which needs attention. Whether you are looking to measure and improve the customer experience, your cash flow, or employee productivity, each of these goals require different sets of data which measure and ultimately provide clarity. Most often, when one problem is addressed, the problems in other areas resolve themselves or become greatly minimized.
The more data you follow and analyze, the more time you will need, which is time which could be spent resolving the problem.
Keep in mind why you are doing this, because it’s far more costly to “do nothing”. Getting simple measurements (store traffic, number of transactions, average transaction, payroll, absentee rate, sales by product) and creating Key Performance Indicators (sales per employee, sales per hour, cost per hour) is a good place to start to begin getting some insight on how you can improve both your employees experience and your customers experience and keep it at a high level.