Fieldamental #15: Use Data to Make Decisions

USE DATA TO MAKE DECISIONS. Make good decisions by relying on facts and data, rather than opinions. Analyze the data and use this information to make better decisions.  If something is important, measure it, track your progress, and improve your performance.

 There is an old saying: “in God we trust, everyone else needs to bring data!”  We must use relevant information and data to drive all of our business decisions.  Opinions and gut feelings are interesting, but they don’t make consistently good decisions.DSC00178-2

We have always run Field “by the numbers”.  We measure everything we think is important.  It is very hard to manage something that you can’t measure.  It is an interesting coincidence that we are reviewing the P & L with the team this week, the week focused on using data to make decisions.  It is very uncommon for privately held companies to share this information, so why do we share it?  Because the P & L represents one of the most important series of measurements we utilize to track our performance as a company.  When we share our financial performance with the team, along with our strategic plans and objectives, we try to give everyone the same set of information to base future decisions on.  With the entire team in sync with our current performance and future plans, we increase the likelihood of people making similar decisions.  This allows the entire team to “think and act like an owner”, Fieldamental #19.

Regular review of important data  is a great way to track changes and determine what course of action has the greatest impact on performance.  Figure out what the critical aspects you need to improve, and then determine the most efficient way to measure your performance.  Most of the functional areas on the team have established a series of metrics that they utilize to track performance.

Do you have personal metrics you utilize to track your own performance?    Challenge your team and yourself to develop or update the specific performance metrics you will focus on this year.