“Only factual information can provide the basis for productive discussion and decision-making.”
In continuation of our blog series inspired by Gino Wickman’s “Traction” this week we will be looking at The Data Component. Our last post covered The People Component.
Even if you’re not a huge sports fan, you might have heard of “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.” The popular book and movie written by Michael Lewis is based on a then unorthodox approach used by Oakland Athletics manager Billy Beane of using advanced analytics to propel his team to the next level. At the time, others thought the approach was crazy, but it produced undeniable results and the same approach can be seen all over the sporting world today.
Data seems to be a buzz world used everywhere. One could even feel as if there is too much data. Even if we are not running a professional baseball team, we can still apply data to our businesses, no matter what the size or industry.
“Anything that is measured and watched is improved.”
Wickman uses this old business maxim to introduce us to the Scorecard, another tool to use along with our Vision and People Component. The Scorecard is the name used in “Traction” for what might otherwise be known as a flash report, smart numbers or simply the numbers used to take the pulse of your company.
In the text, Wickman makes it clear that the Scorecard is different from a profit and loss statement or P&L, which we covered in a previous post unrelated to our “Traction” series. A P&L addresses something that has already happened, while the Scorecard is more geared towards looking at the future.
As with the other tools introduced by Wickman, the Scorecard will be unique to each business. An Excel spreadsheet can be used to organize your Scorecard categories, which can include things like weekly revenue, payroll and customer ratings. Like the last post in our series addressing the People Component, accountability is a large part of the Scorecard. Assign one person to each category who will be held accountable for presenting the data going forward.
Using a Scorecard will boil things down to simple, raw numbers. These Measurables, as Wickman calls them in the text, add more accountability, numbers that your employees can strive to hit, encourage teamwork and more.
Just like Billy Beane did for the Oakland Athletics, data can be recorded and used to see patterns and anticipate future events. With the Scorecard and the Measurables that it produces, you too can make use of analytics to improve your situation.
Stay tuned for the next in our blog series inspired by Gino Wickman’s “Traction.”