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A CEO's challenge: how to get the right data

Javier Espinoza
The Wall Street Journal
20 April 2010

Steve Black, business intelligence specialist at PA Consulting Group, has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal Europe about the value of management information. The article refer to a recent survey that boards in the US and UK are relying too much on backward-looking financial and operational data, mostly internal, which is affecting their ability to react quickly to business conditions with the result that they are unable to adapt their strategy fast enough.

Steve says “Presentation is important to make data work. Good designs enable managers to see important patterns quickly by enabling comparisons, highlighting trends and putting related information together and in context.”  He says that companies should also be weary of too flashy ways of digesting data.

Steve warns of "relevant and useful information that is overwhelmed by distracting, but cool, visual adornments. He also highlights that not all businesses need information with the same speed and that this will depend on the nature of the industry.”

He concludes “There are mix time scales on the need to access information for different decision makers. Supermarkets need daily input of data to make essential decisions on what to put on their shelves, while fashion retailers might need information on a weekly or monthly basis.”

You can read the Wall Street Journal article in full here.


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