Moving from Data Pollen to Honey: Start with Why

Moving from Data Pollen to Honey: Start with Why

Perhaps a better subtitle might be: 'Start with Why: how Great leaders inspire others to focus' and succeed. Great leaders and organizations are good at seeing what most people can't see, which is the mindset of having a longer-term vision. Starting with clear focus and *why* is a great start, and presumably shows that you have really thought about it.

Helping you to take a leap of faith with your company's business with Power BI

I'm delighted to announce that my Microsoft Data Insights session is in the top ten for most pre-registrations! I'm honoured. What do I want to achieve?

I want to help organisations to take a leap of faith to a better place, based on their data.

You've got this, and I can help you to get there. I love making 'left field' vision, strategy, tactics suggestions that make people stop and think. I love helping businesses grow, and taking them from one place to a better place. Essentially, I love making an impact on customers through their data.

 Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

I love helping people reach their potential through the technical community work that I do, and my love for this area is evidence of what i do for businesses around the world.

Leading businesses through data is a great topic to cover, which I'm particularly passionate about. I'm starting my MBA in September. I've been advising businesses, both large and small, as a consultant since 1997. I've also been running my own business for seven years now, and I've learned a lot. Through this experience, and my academic study, I'm well-placed to advise businesses on how to get the best of their data, whether it's called Business Intelligence or Data Science or how you label it. It's more than just throwing the word strategy around and then talking tech - it's about really getting to the heart of the business, what they are trying to achieve, how they see themselves, how others see them, and examining their current status and growth plans for a successful future.

Taking a leap of faith with your data for data-driven CEOs with Power BI

In a world where technology takes over most aspects of life and business, CEOs need a guiding philosophy more than ever to help them add the best possible value to their actions while being able to display ongoing strategic assessment and planning capabilities. Nevertheless, it is often difficult for them to find the right amount of time to collect, cultivate, and analyse data, mostly because CEOs need to prioritize strategic decisions so that their business runs successfully.





Know your Data, Know your Business

Knowing your Data is an essential part of any business. Often, the issues in the business are manifested in the data. If the organisation doesn't have good processes in place, the symptoms are often seen in data.

Data is essential for CEOs when it comes to running their business, particularly because it offers them an insight into customer behaviour and permits them to take accurate measures of what really matters to their organization. With Power BI, data-driven CEOs can bring a mix of clarity and predictability to the table when it comes to taking measures that affect the short- and long-term future of their organization.

Why Do CEOs Care About Data? Should they?

Business data is one of the essential factors CEOs need to take into account to deliver solutions for their organization, so this is the reason for which CEOs are required to be data-savvy. As CEOs are becoming increasingly accountable and their pay is more often than not tied to their performance, it is vital for them to rely on data to do their jobs well. This is where Power BI can help, allowing CEOs to build robust data models and sharp reports that will boost their BI efforts considerably.

Top 10 Key Performance Indicators CEOs Need to Know

In a sea of performance indicators that CEOs need to consider when it comes to analysing business solutions for short- and long-term growth, it may be difficult to pick the top ones that are truly essential for offering an insight on how the core of the business is operating. Here are the top 10 key performance indicators data-driven CEOs need to place on their watch list.

  • ·         Net Profit
  • ·         Progress Towards Targets
  • ·         Revenues and Revenue Growth Rate
  • ·         Expenses
  • ·         Revenue per Employee
  • ·         Employee Engagement
  • ·         Profit Per Customer
  • ·         Order Fulfilment
  • ·         Project Success
  • ·         Downtime


How Can Power BI Help?

Power BI is the leading BI solutions as of 2017, and it offers users a high degree of accessibility and flexibility when it comes to implementing Business Intelligence without sacrificing any key features.

By using datasets that are meaningful to CEOs, report writers can either connect to or import data simply into Power BI. It gives users - and CEOs - all the data they need across functions and enables them to view detailed reports and display multiple sets of data as required. Users can set permissions for staff so that multiple individuals can explore, refresh, and reuse data. Moreover, users can publish reports and insert data into shareable documents.

Ideally, the CEO should get their data when they need it, where they need it and how they prefer to access it. Power BI is a powerful business intelligence solution that solves this problem. It is suitable for organizations that work on premise and in the cloud who want to use the flexibility of the cloud to access, share and disseminate information across the globe. Besides accessibility and flexibility, Power BI also helps maximise profitability, identify trends, anticipate various types of challenges, pick out business opportunities easier, and help data-driven CEOs make smarter decisions.

Let me help you to hold your hand, and make that jump! 

Business Book Review: Fast by Gordon Tredgold

Before we begin: I'm aiming to write a Business Book Review once a week, as I ramp up on my goal of reading more. Note:

I wasn't given any incentive in any way, shape or form to write this Business Book Review, or any other Review that appears here.

I don't get a commission on clickthroughs from this post or any other.

Perhaps because I've written my own book end-to-end - and writing another - I have strong opinions about the effort that goes into book-writing. Although writing a book is not about money, the commission earning piece feels grubby to me.
Anyway, disclaimers over and now, onto the review!

Five Stars!

Recommended Read!

I'm trying to improve my consulting and writing skills, and this is the primary purpose of this series. I'm on a mission to read a book a week, and write up a review. I started with FAST by Gordon Tredgold, having heard good things.

Tredgold has written FAST to help companies and people get results.  The book itself is winning accolades: FAST – 4 Principles Everyone Needs to Achieve Success and Drive Results, which is now a Finalist for Practical Management Book of the Year 2017 selected by Chartered Management Institute & British Library.

You can visit Tredgold's site hereGordon Tredgold has worked in Transformational Leadership roles for over 20 years, running $100m+ programs, leading $200m+ Global Operations Departments, and implementing large complex Organisational Change programs for Fortune 100 companies, and is now Visiting Professor at Staffordshire University.

The book is a distillation of years of experience, and it was clear from reading the book that Tredgold has a real depth of experience here. I get the impression that he gets leadership. He really understands it from multi-faceted perspectives; the company, customer, project, teams and from the leaders themselves. 

Business and leadership in general need to respond to changing, fluid and dynamic environments - and they need to respond FAST. FAST is a well-thought-out approach to leadership that simplifies success in a digestible format. FAST will challenge you to think differently about the way you lead, and once you're finished, you'll want to read it again. The book is deceptively small because it is packed with all sorts of gems; a lot of these quotes I've tucked into my BuJo for inspiration throughout the day.

There's something about Tredgold's writing that sticks in your head. He's clearly an excellent communicator. Whilst reading the book, I felt that I was learning, but without putting effort into learning. Concepts are explained very well, and the brain simply absorbs it.

How is the book useful? In practice, the FAST has been successfully used to turnaround failing projects and companies through its core concepts.  I enjoyed the book thoroughly; it is pragmatic with advice that you can apply straight away to all sorts of spheres, from personal productivity to sales right through to salvaging companies and projects. It's not a checklist book however, although it does give you a great start with some practical examples and food for thought at the end; the book also manages to combine being visionary at the same time. There are plenty of relatable examples. 

In line with the advice from the book, the book itself is simple but it isn't superficial. It is hard work to take complex topics and make them simple, but Tredgold manages to do this successfully with the book. He must do an amazing job with his customers, too!

How did I find the book useful? I found the Chapter on Accountability to be incredibly insightful, and I re-read the Accountability sections a couple of times. I will read it again. I've started to understand how much accountability, or lack of it, is pervasive in organisations, and I am re-casting my own experiences as a consultant in terms of where there was a lack of accountability at customer projects, which I usually inherited as the external consultant. I really think that Tredgold's book will help me to succeed better at consultancy, because I will be paying particular attention to Accountability in the future.

I've given the book Five Stars, but what would I like to see next? As a data girl, I'd love there to be Volume 2 with a focus on pragmatic advice on the data and charts that will help leaders to see where they are right now, and where they would like to be. Tredgold mentions data subtly throughout the book, and I'd love to know more about this side of the FAST program. This isn't a criticism - I am very enthusiastic about the book and I would love to know more about this area, but that's probably the data geek in me. I have my own thoughts and ideas and perhaps I will get round to blogging about them here.

Summary: buy the book, read it, then re-read it. Then recommend it for your colleagues. Well worth it.




Moving from Data Pollen to Honey: Growing your Hive

Ever wondered what the difference between a bees' nest and a hive is?  A Nest is used to discuss colonies which house themselves in cavities, such as a tree, and it's honed by the bees themselves. A Hive is used to describe structures used by humans to house a honey bee nest.

For busy consulting bees, expanding your fellow bee crowd is a hybrid of a nest and a hive. There are structures, organisations that can help you on your way. The rest of it is up to you to make it work for you, in an organic fashion where you give and receive. Receiving can just be as hard as giving, and it is something I'm learning to do. 

As part of creating a hive/nest hybrid for myself, I have become an active member of my local Chamber of Commerce. I was fortunate enough to attend a lunch with David Gauke, who was first elected as Member of Parliament in 2005. In July 2016 he was promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was voted "Tax Personality of the Year" in 2011! 

It was my first Chamber of Commerce meeting and I was hugely impressed with the conversations with other members, and the Q&A with David Gauke MP too. I asked a few questions about issues for small businesses in extracting payment from larger businesses, who sometimes use their size to pay late, or perhaps 'miss out' paying the VAT, for example. I was happy to have the opportunity to discuss these issues, and I felt that Mr Gauke and the rest of the members really listened to my concerns and suggestions. I'd like to thank everyone here for their genuine welcome for this new member, and I look forward to 'giving back' as well as being blessed with the company, expertise and wisdom from a great team of business leaders here in the Hertfordshire community.

In particular, I'd like to thank David Zerny for his suggestions and encouragement as I move forward, and for his help in encouraging me to attend.

I am greatly enjoying growing my hive as I move on and move forward in my business, and helping others to relish their data!

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