The Power of Data: The Most Important Questions Any Leader Must Ask


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In the recently completed I-Connect007 survey of readers titled, “The Data Factor(y): The Power of Data,” I had difficulty segmenting the results into useful categories. In other words, what were the issues that most concerned readers and customers? Responses seemed to flow toward a catchall bucket that I might describe as the following:

1. What are we supposed to be measuring?

2. How should we measure it?

3. How do we get people to respond properly once we have identified what and how to measure and implemented a robust data collection system?

You see, if we answer these three questions correctly, we are in good shape to become systems-based, more conscious leaders and managers and hence much better organizations.

What to Measure I had the privilege to spend time with David Chambers, probably the country’s most esteemed statistician who constantly reminded us, “Focus on what you measure and how you measure. If you get these right, everything else will follow. If you don’t get these right, it’s impossible to improve and control a system or process.” We don’t want to measure everything. That’s a trap that companies sometimes fall into, whereby excess time and effort collecting and evaluating data produces more frustration than valuable information. Generally, about 20% of the data will give us 80% of the benefits we need to control and improve our systems, both on the manufacturing floor and in service areas. Often, when we try to measure too many things, we become inundated with mostly useless data that obscures the important stuff we should be focused on.

Read the full article here.


Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine.

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