Let’s decide what we need from technology

human social needsThere is a lot of discussion about how the Internet of Things (IoT) will change our lives for the better. We can all help shape HOW we want it to change our lives.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is only useful when lots of data (variety and quantity) is being collected and is made available for someone or something to analyse that data and make sense out of it.

The actual use cases or problems still need to be defined by someone who has a need, and that would be us! Without a need, the effort and cost involved in collecting and storing all this data is going to be a waste.

Let’s start thinking about what problems we want solved and what we want our future to look like. We might just get what we need, rather than being given something we may not want.

Data doesn’t just give you all the answers

The following HBR article is a good read for those like myself, who enjoy pouring over (or analysing, for a better word) masses of data to uncover issues, trends, improvements, and so on, The beauty of what we do is not just the finding solutions part but also being able to ask questions and propose and test theories – the same as one would do when you take an educated guess. The difference is in this instance, it’s an educated guess based on data.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/let-data-ask-questions-not-just-answer-them/

5 ways in which poor data quality can cost you

losing money due to data quality issuesWe all know that data quality issues can cause frustrations, delays and hinder decision making. What we don’t always appreciate is that there a cost associated with these data quality issues. In order to elaborate this point, I’ve described 5 ways in which this cost manifests itself along with some examples of what happens in real life:

1. Cost of fixing data

Your team is always in fixing mode, ensuring all data issues reported by users are being resolved ASAP. That’s great news for the users!

Whilst this is a common situation in many organisation that I have come across, what these organisations (or their managers) fail to see is that they’re investing their technical resources to fix data problems instead of focusing on value creating activities within the organisation. In effect, these technical resources are merely expenses to the organisation. The cost to the organisation manifests itself through the hiring of new resources to perform the value creating activities or through delays to these projects due to their reliance on resources with other, more important, priorities. (more…)

5 reasons your organisation should have clean data

Questions about the FactsMany organisations constantly live with data issues, justifying it on the basis of “this is how things have always been” or “it’s too hard to fix the problem”. On the other hand, by doing a few simple things to resolve these issues, they can benefit much more.

Below are five reasons why every organisation should strive to have clean data in their systems:

1. Enhanced Decision Making

All your decisions will be based on accurate information, and not guesswork. And your decision making will be quicker, as you are not waiting for the data to be “fixed” before you receive it.

2. Improved Cooperation with your partners

You can confidently share information with your clients and suppliers, knowing it is correct. This is turn will improve the trust and cooperation between your organisation and it’s partners.

3. Saves Time & Money

You’ll spend less time fixing up issues in your reporting, budgeting, planning, schedules, etc., and in turn save money. Staff can be doing the higher value activities rather than fixing up data problems.

4. Improved staff morale

Your staff will feel less stressed and not be frustrated by having to deal with incorrect information, or having to fix up mistakes caused by poor quality data.

and finally, avoid the stick…

5. Keeps you out of trouble

As you aren’t misrepresenting facts and figures to your board, investors and regulatory authorities, you won’t get yourself or your organisation into a pickle.

(more…)