The October 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review features “Big Data” as the theme. There are a number of articles of import for those leaders whose enterprise has access to large amounts of data–operational, market, what have you. They look at where the data is coming from, the increasing role it is playing in business decision-making, how to use it wisely, and how to identify the metrics that best represent your operations and your market environment. They even have a piece on the hottest job: Data Scientist.
The question around this that relates to the subject of leadership, however, is how will you as a leader respond to the presence and power of data? It may be that you and a couple of senior executives are used to drawing on your seasoned experience, the patterns you have noticed over the years, and your intuition to make the big decisions. In this case, you may not extend a warm welcome to objective data that insinuates itself into your decision process.
“So, Mr. Kasparov, how did you really feel when IBM’s Deep Blue beat you at chess?”
To the extent an aversion to data’s heavier role exists, leaders need to get over it. Analyses at the MIT Center for Digital Business found that data driven companies generated stronger financial and operational metrics. And enterprises in the top third in terms of data-driven decision making averaged 5% higher productivity and 6% greater profits than other competitors.
Just something else to think about (as if you don’t have enough on your plate already).