Today we live in a world where it's far too easy to collect data. It's not the amount of data that's important; it's what organizations do with this information that matters most. Data collection is only useful if we can deftly transition it into action. We simply don't have time to evaluate every detail of information we collect. Even given the time, we may lack the patience (or experience) to get through it all. We need help! We need help from automated systems to parse and filter the deluge, and we need "more eyes" on the situation. Processing data today requires a team effort focused on bringing to light information that is organized, structured, and presented in the best context so that we can turn our data into action.
Winning teams take action
Teams who fail to efficiently leverage data waste precious time and miss opportunities to deliver a better experience to their clients and greater job satisfaction to their employees. This inefficiency leads to a reactive rather than proactive position. When problems come to light, inefficient teams hunt through logs and reports in hopes of finding anything to help make sense of the problem. As the amount of data grows, so does the difficulty in finding what is needed. Combine this challenge with the pressure to respond quickly, and it's not surprising that critical information is often slow to uncover (if it can be found at all). These missed opportunities cause frustration for support desk staff and the customers they serve.
In contrast, high-performing teams repeatedly and promptly turn data into action. They spend much less time reacting to rapidly changing environments — even as their data sets grow. This efficiency in identifying critical data allows them to spend more quality time with their customers, and focus on strategic initiatives like reducing risk and improving communications. They accomplish this by being smart about how they filter and display their data. Smart filtering allows knowledge workers to focus on a smaller, more meaningful data set, enabling them to take informed action swiftly.
Winning teams get people involved
High-performing teams also get more people involved. They put their egos aside and avoid working alone because they understand that having more people — with varied experiences and initiatives — analyzing data can be helpful. Individuals who participate in information sharing are more engaged than those who are not invited to participate. They feel more empowered and respected. This participation results in more cooperative teams who find greater success in working together.
Getting more people involved can also reduce the amount of time spent generating reports. Business teams are often required to produce reports for audits, validate compliance or make informed business decisions. Creating these reports is critical, though often time-consuming. Most organizations lack good systems for accessing data quickly or in a form that intuitively pivots to action. Even if systems are in place, delivering reports can be a slow and laborious process. One cause for the delay is that getting more people involved typically requires additional training. Training takes time, so the act of generating reports becomes the responsibility of only a few "trained" individuals. Efficient teams find ways to share information and empower colleagues to take action on their own (or to escalate concerns). Winning teams find ways to get more people involved and turn data into action.
Quick access to smart data
Imagine operating in a world where spreadsheets and paper reports are replaced with easy-to-read "smart data" that is always up to date, securely available from anywhere, and requires zero training to understand. Imagine quickly and easily sharing information with your team that provides ongoing value by presenting it in a way that is intuitively usable and actionable. Providing unencumbered access to smart data is what we set out to accomplish when we built Dashboard. Before we started using Jamf Pro (in 2007), we didn't have a clear picture of what we were managing. We had only snippets of information that would become out of date and unreliable as quickly as we collected it. Once we started using Jamf Pro, we had immediate access to a wealth of data. However, we kept missing things — particularly as our inventory of devices grew. It wasn't that the data points weren't there, it was simply the fact that we weren't seeing them. We needed a way for our support desk staff to quickly find the right data, in the right place, at the right time.
Additionally, we wanted to share the information we collected with our clients in a way that was immediately understandable. When evaluating what information to present within Dashboard, we were careful not just to regurgitate the heap of data collected in Jamf Pro. Our goal was simple: focus on potentially actionable problem areas. We wanted anything that wasn't healthy to standout and "bubble to the top" so it was easy to identify. Our support desk is a fast-paced environment. If someone contacts us with a device that is running well, we likely won’t dwell on it. We are more concerned with quickly identifying opportunities to stay ahead of trouble before it starts. Dashboard is built to display this information so it can't be missed — even to those untrained in providing technology support. Dashboard provides structure and intelligence to our Jamf Pro data so our team — and others — can more quickly take action.
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This article was originally published on the Forget Computers site. Read Ben’s full article.
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