Wouldn’t it be great if there were no more digital or printed reports to tell us what happened in the past? I know. We need financial data for comparison, and to a degree—for planning. But we should be thinking of finding ways to make data available to us much earlier, when it is more meaningful and actionable.
Call it “pervasive access” or just-in-time reporting. Or better yet, near real time information that we can use to make changes, decrease costs, or better manage assets like inventory or cash – or people.
If there were no reports, we would have to manage by exception, more by observation than by analysis. Perhaps we’d use a real time dashboard, one in which all information is fed from direct input from processes in motion.
See, the value of information does decrease over time—more than we recognize. We fall into the habit of looking at weekly or monthly reporting, and react to trends by holding meetings, changing processes after the fact.
But what if you could develop changes in your business processes so that information, even big data, would be available and analyzed for exceptions almost instantly? How much money, time and resources would we save?
So that should become a departmental or corporate goal for you. Find places where reporting can be made by exception, not routine. Call center getting behind? Production slowed or stopped? Sales slipping unexpectedly? Why wait until the damage is done?
Find the areas where a real time exception reporting is possible and proactive. Develop a system for early, even instant alerts when things get beyond comfort or safety. And dump or consolidate the much later reports to save valuable time at period end. Can you find at least one of these to implement today?