The Power of Reports

I was appalled when a CEO told me yesterday that "it costs me more money if I upgrade my IT. I cannot spend the money" in answering to my query whether he could analyse his sales data by segmenting into the various sales channels, which to my mind is the very basic a Company should have in understanding where "his sales go".

He was happy to have the sales reported as one (1) wholesome figure without the benefit of sales breakdown. How can he identify and understand his success or failure? How can he drive the sales if he does not know where the gaps are - which channel, which product etc contributed to the Company's success or failure. How can his Managers design marketing plans? He will be in total darkness without any guiding light! There are numerous "how can ..." to answer with the relevant data and reports available.

The CEO concerned is definitely having a very basic computer system in his Company. He is no wiser in understanding that a good analytical report would enable him to increase his sales revenue and therefore better returns if such a report is available notwithstanding the other analytics that he may have. It would pay back, and even increase his bottom line, when the revenues come in.

Data collected is a rich pool of information. It is like a gold mine. It should be leveraged to enhance performance and returns. Good reports are effective management tools as they sharpened management analytical reports. It would be prayers answered for many senior and operational Managers ... and many successful CEOs!

Thus, a CEO cannot be ignorant on the power of data mining. The CEO has to invest in a good and relevant IT system and support ... many IT Vendors can be sources of info and solutions to help start his requirements in a "gradual" and "step up" manner.

Indeed I was taken aback and emphatised with the CEO concerned for the lack of "wisdom and desire" in wanting to have the wonders and powers of IT in redefining and shaping the art and skill of analysis in financials, sales matters etc. Intelligently used, the reports will give great tractions to the Company's market and financial performances. Obviously there is a need to have the right IT architecture, systems, processes, resources ... which obviously needs financing ... but the CEO has to start somewhere ... he must initiate the process of reviewing, upgrading or switching to a more relevant computer system ... he should prioritise and take the first step  ...

Food for thought for the CEO and others who may have similar views like him!

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