In a world teeming with data, companies are excellent at collecting information but often struggle with its application. Neil Hoyne, Chief Strategist for Data & Measurement at Google, recently shared his view on this subject, and it’s not what you’d expect. He’s no fan of traditional dashboards, and here’s why.
Collecting Data is Not the Problem; Utilizing it is
Companies are awash in data but flounder when it comes to turning that information into actionable insights. Hoyne’s perspective captures this sentiment: “What companies are not failing on is collecting data; they are failing when they discuss what to actually do with the results.”
Dashboards: The Usual Suspects
The standard use of dashboards involves monitoring the same Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) quarter after quarter. However, Hoyne argues this practice often leads to stagnation and lacks strategic insight. He likens it to looking in the rear-view mirror instead of through the windshield.
What Dashboards Could Be
Hoyne isn’t against dashboards per se but rather their conventional implementation. He believes that dashboards should not just be static displays of data. They should:
Inspire Questions and Curiosity: Dashboards should provoke thought, leading to inquiries that drive new strategies and solutions.
Reflect Market Context: Dashboards must align with the realities of the market, adapting to changing conditions and customer behavior.
Align Toward Specific Business Initiatives: Rather than focusing on generic KPIs, dashboards should target the unique objectives and strategies of the business.
Embracing Scientific Inquiry
Moreover, Hoyne emphasizes the need for a more professional and scientific approach to data. By understanding the relationship between marketing measures and business outcomes, companies can turn raw data into real competitive advantage.
Neil Hoyne’s perspective on dashboards offers a refreshing look at how companies can better leverage data. Rather than sticking to old habits, it’s time to rethink how we use dashboards, aligning them with strategic goals and embracing inquiry and adaptability. It’s not about discarding dashboards entirely but transforming them into tools that genuinely drive businesses forward. His views invite us all to shift from mere data collection to meaningful data utilization, a change that could reshape how we approach data-driven decision-making.