Data seems to be a by-product of just about every business process you can think of and for many of us, it can be frustrating when number-crunching becomes a distraction from your main role. Instead, it should be enhancing your capabilities and making it easier to access relevant information.
How many creative types, in marketing, spend valuable time manipulating spreadsheets to assess market opportunity or measure campaign performance? Do sales executives or procurement managers end up trawling through customer or supplier records to the cut-and-thrust of commercial negotiations - or simply to spot the opportunity? Should HR relish the task of analysing workforce metrics?
But let's not have a downer on data - it's the way data is managed and delivered that determines whether it's usable or plain dull. Technologies like SAP Crystal Solutions have been designed to provide effortless access to reliable information on tap. It offers a painless way to leverage data from different systems in various formats, and consolidate multiple spreadsheets. It makes data as easy to explore as the internet, and allows you to report, analyse and present it in a clear, meaningful way, personalised to the needs of whoever you're sharing it with.
Many organisations are still oblivious to the goldmine they are sitting on in terms of their data and the visibility it could offer into their operations. By failing to provide their workforce with the tools to manage data and convert it into usable insight, it's inevitable that deadlines are missed, opportunities go undetected, financial penalties are incurred, customer expectations are frustrated and competitive edge is lost. And perhaps most importantly, a culture of antipathy towards data is perpetuated.
Whatever your role or profession, in today's knowledge economy what you know is as important as who you know. If making sense of data is taking up a disproportionate amount of your time, it may be quite legitimate to start blaming your tools!
Is your aversion to data caused by not having the right tools for the job? Sign up to lovehatedata.com and vent your frustrations!