Service Leaders: Don’t Invest in Digital Transformation…. Unless You Do This First

In an age of big-data and data science, it’s more important than ever to engage in data-driven decision making. Yet surprisingly, there is often a leadership disconnect between where and how analytics can create value for an organization.

You can have all of the data in the world but if you don’t know how and where to apply it, you are unlikely to solve your organization’s most pressing challenges or exceed your business’ performance goals. And you certainly won’t be gaining a competitive edge or leading in your industry.

So, before you invest in digital transformation, stop and check your analytics literacy. The first step in becoming a digital champion is to understand where your business lies at this point in time so you can make plans to improve. You need this baseline to move forward and progress. Make sure you understand your business’ current performance so you know how to move the needle on the right key performance indicators (KPI’s)—the ones that actually matter. After all, having the right access to the right data and knowing how to make sense of it all is the first step in your organization’s digital journey.

Before you invest in digital transformation, stop and check your analytics literacy.

I’m proposing a big shift here: I’m suggesting that many of us have blind spots—and it’s imperative to figure out these blind spots before diving-into an ‘everything needs to change at once’ type of approach. I tend to err on the side of digital maturity: the idea that data analytics and digital innovations take their shape over a company’s life span, and that just because you don’t know where your company will be 10 years down the line, doesn’t mean you can’t take small steps today to start getting your organization on track. Digital maturity is all about transforming your business and improving performance with continuous effort that will change courses and paths along the way—it is not a ‘once-and-for-all’ approach.

What am I not suggesting? I’m not stating that you should wait around forever trying to figure out where your business stands today. Spend the time to figure out where your data gaps are and what metrics you should be measuring and optimizing. Once you know this, there are quick and simple ways to take a quick benchmark of where your firm lies today so you can keep your eye on where your business needs to go.

What do top-performing businesses that are taking full advantage of data and analytics have in common? They know where their business’ KPI’s stand today and use this data to draw insights and take action to improve both operational and financial metrics to become more digitally mature. They know that small actions today can make a huge impact over the long-term. After all, without knowing where your data stands and where room for improvement lies, it is impossible to execute a holistic digital transformation.

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