I LOVE THE ABOVE QUOTE FROM DANIEL J . BOORSTIN because it so eloquently portrays what I sometimes hear from businesspeople I work with. They believe they see all the important data and have every important analytic their business could possibly supply. In other words, they think they have 100 percent of the knowledge available. I call this delusion “data hubris.” These leaders really believe they capture all the necessary data, that their reporting is as good as it gets, and that they can identify all the important trends in their business using the means they have today. In other words, they have no idea what they do not know.
Once you have your digital plumbing in place, you have to focus on the data that is flowing through it. It isn’t enough to just get data efficiently. You must gather a large amount of data from three different sources (internal, constituents, and third parties) and know what to do with it.
If you want to be a high-velocity leader, you must understand what it takes to have the very best visibility into what your organization is doing and what the performance trends are—in real time. If you have data hubris, you will not even be motivated to find out where you are missing important facts. You simply cannot confidently keep pace unless you can clearly see the current status of the machine. The more robust the information flow you develop, the more you can move to predictive analysis, since you will have a base of knowledge that allows you to extrapolate what the future might be. Speed requires more information and the ability to adjust to conditions that come up unexpectedly—just compare the dashboard of a car to the dashboard of a jet airplane. Rapid but wise decisions are predicated on a solid flow of high-quality information.