Usain Bolt is in the edge of what we can do as human beings, but his competitors threatens to take away that privileged place. Just like high performance athletes, enterprises has its own Olympics, and theirs are permanent.
We’ve seen in Rio 2016 the top-performers for each olympic sport. These amazing achievements are in a continuous improvement path. One example is the plain 100m race, which first official record was 10.6 seconds in 1912. Today 104 years after, with the material technology improvement and a constant growth in our understanding of the mechanics of the body, the olimpic record is held by Usain Bolt, with 9.578 seconds.
Technology: One big enhancer
From shoes, clothes and road materials to training equipment, the masters of each discipline are being closely measured through sensors located all around them. In their clothes, in the space where they train and even in its mere bodies, these sensors become tinier and more powerful in shorter cycles. Video Cameras also are growing in capabilities, allowing the use techniques of slow motion. This is the technological set where professional sports happen. Whereas in the industry, this very same devices allow companies to measure production, track transportation, detect consumers paths in a store. The existence of these devices and these sensors keep track of the products, providers and customer paths.
And you guess, technology comes with…
Data. Of course, all this devices are recording a wide number of measures and ratios, which are evaluated and processed, crossing each of these variables with the rest of them, calculating correlations between them, finding common patterns, comparing results data with variables like clothing type, wind conditions, shoe type, hour or time after lunch. In the same way, business calculate relations between their main kpis, the success of a campaign and the validity of a client segment.
And things are getting better. Data comes with…
Insights. Which are wisely used to understand how affecting a position, tuning an angle or the application of the force used in each stride modifies the time of an athlete’s race. With the same analytical tools, the aeronautic industry understands how fuel is being used in each flight done; the transport industry realizes the size of inventory and distribution center costs. Also in the telecomm industry, companies detect patterns that signal the clients who are prone to cancel their services.
Insights comes with…
Actions. Because, there’s no more useless insight that a non actionable insight. And so, athletes can improve millisecond by millisecond their record modifying each of the variables learned to be relevant. On its side, the aeronautic industry saves fuel traveling through the optimal geodesic route; the transport enterprises help to minimize inventory and distribution center costs; as a last example, telecomm can provide better service to each of their customersthrough knowing better the way they use their phone and internet lines.
Championing with the right actions
Data driven culture is, at its roots, a very simple concept: every person in a group uses data to support their decisions. And even when the posing of the problem is easy to state, its solution involves complexity in its execution. Having a data driven culture implies that everyone has access to all the data that is possible and has the tools to do the proper interpretation. Mastering this culture, minimizes risks at putting aside gut decision and guesses, spot the elements and process which with the right control and modification, affect the variables that we want to increase or decrease. Furthermore, it improves exponentially the performance of the athletes and of the companies.
There’s always room to improve
Just as the discipline of high performance athleticism, knowing better the human body and the materials with which they interact allows to put the boundaries of the possible indefinitely far, enterprises (traditional ones and the icons of the state of the art) has an infinite space for improvement. That space, without doubt, will be explored and conquered with the handy help of data analytics and the data driven culture.