It’s one thing to talk about being data-driven; it’s another to actually bring about that enlightened state. Along the way, you’ll run into all sorts of problems – not enough data, dirty data, too much data, and trying to figure out how to use the data you have. Yet, when you start to put into place all the things you need, you’ll find that your decision making becomes sharper, your outcomes start getting better, and you’ll have a lot more confidence along the way.
Becoming a data-driven MSP doesn’t start with our normal means of consuming data. Dashboards and financial statements are fantastic, but they’re garbage in, garbage out (or quality in, quality out, if you’re doing it right). So before you even get there, you have to make sure that your data is as clean as possible.
In data science, there’s something called the 1-10-100 Rule, and that’s about the costs of clean data. The cheapest path to clean data is to make sure it’s clean in the first place. If that costs $1, then the cost of cleaning dirty data later on is ten times that. But if you only discover the data is dirty after it leads you down a bad path, the cost is one hundred times the cost of cleaning the data at the source.
Now think about the role that KPIs, dashboards and financial systems play in your decision making. They’re valuable specifically because they are a shorthand representation of a larger dataset. If there’s dirty data in that larger dataset, you’re a lot more likely to be led by your KPIs, dashboards and financial statements to make a suboptimal decision.
The natural conclusion is that you need to make sure the data you’re using to make decisions is clean. You still have to confront any issues in your decision making heuristics, the biases and fallacies and pitfalls that abound. But at least you’ll have clean data, and it’s clean in the convenient and powerful format it arrives to you in.
If you’re with TruMethods, you’re serious about being the best. You’re smart enough to know that you’re going to work hard no matter what, so you might as well have the systems in place and the attention to detail so that your hard work pays off handsomely with a higher level of operational excellence.
That’s an area where Gradient can help. We’re here to help keep your data clean, and coming soon we’ll be helping bridge the data gap between you and your vendors. Why not come by, plug in and see how we can help make you make better decisions.