Schrödinger’s Data…Why Your Business is Both Thriving And Dying at The Same Time

There’s a very famous quote from business guru Peter Drucker, that goes “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. And whilst I believe this to be true, I’m going to suggest that Pearson’s Law is a more accurate statement: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

Let’s start with the first part of this law: If you never measure anything in your business, nothing can improve. You may well say that things can improve all by themselves regardless of any performance measuring, but how will you know if it’s an improvement or not? If a golfer never keeps score, they’ll never know if their game is improving. If an athlete doesn’t know the times they run, how can they work on shaving a second off in the next race?

It’s a bit of a stretch to say that the average business isn’t measuring what’s going on, but it can often just come down to the basics; bottom line, sales, maybe staff performance, or perhaps waste reduction. The trouble with limited measuring of performance metrics, is that they will only show you part of the picture and rarely tell you much beyond some arbitrary statistics. The more you measure and dig deeper into the numbers, the greater understanding you’ll gain as to why things are happening.

So, what’s this got to do with Schrödinger and the strange world of quantum mechanics? Much like the renowned physicist’s equally famous cat, until you look in the metaphorical box of your business’s performance, you have absolutely no idea if you’re thriving, or about to suffer a catastrophic failure. The act of measuring performance, has a direct impact on the reality of the situation and once you’re aware of the current truth, you can begin to implement actions towards improvement.

This is where data analytics steps in and shows you what’s really going on, lets you know why things are happening, and what areas need to be changed to improve performance. Many businesses find the whole idea of “Big Data” overwhelming, but it’s possible to simplify the subject in a way that it’s not only easily understood, but equally simple to implement too.

To take a look at the second part of Pearson’s Law, being able to effectively report on what’s being measured, will rapidly accelerate improvements. When the right people get the right information at the right time, positive decisions can be taken much more quickly, and nobody is in any doubt about the reality of any aspect of the business. This drives critical thinking and innovation, which will naturally lead towards a greater understanding of what to measure, and thus further accelerate improvements. Simply put, the more you know, the more you can improve.

If you’d like to know more about how to improve the performance of your business, please do get in touch. We specialise in simplifying everything data and thrive on showing companies of all sizes how to improve their performance, using easy to understand methods.


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