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The Importance of Data Gathering in Strategic Planning

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Some say when you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. This is the reason why you should establish a solid strategic planning process for your company. But strategic planning won’t succeed without the right data. Data gathering may sound simple, but you should not underestimate it. Why does it matter and how should you gather your company’s performance data?

Performance monitoring is a systematic process taken by the management in order to track the company’s performance and drive results and continuous growth. Performance monitoring could also send signals to top management which part of their business  operations are failing or working below expectancy. This process plays an important part in the strategic planning initiative.

In order to successfully monitor company performance, the management should be able to gather corporate performance data swimmingly. 

Data Gathering 

Data gathering in general should start with KPI activation. This KPI activation consists of four different steps: meeting with the data custodians, securing the activation budget, designing the data gathering template, and communicating the template to the data custodians. KPI activation is a step that allows management to develop infrastructure for capturing and managing data.

After KPI activation is done, the next step is the ongoing data gathering process. This is where the management or the performance management team sends the KPI data gathering notification to the KPI custodians and receives the data relevant to performance monitoring. For this step, it is imperative for the performance management team to gathers and centralize the relevant data before checking the data quality.

After sending the KPI data gathering notification, the management or the performance management team could also send the KPI custodians a reminder via email to make sure the data custodians prepare the data needed.

Once the relevant data is gathered, the performance team should check the quality of the data before calculating the KPI results and analyzing the data. The quality of the data should be checked based on multiple dimensions. The main dimensions are Accuracy, Completeness, Consistency, Conformity, Timeliness, and Uniqueness. In reality, the performance management team may find the relevant data does not meet those requirements/quality. When the data does not meet a certain quality, it is preferred for the top management or the performance management team to clarify the data to the data custodians. 

Data analysis is a set of processes of examining, transforming, and modeling data to generate relevant business insights that can be used in the decision-making process. In analyzing KPI results, the performance team should use analytics.

The final step of data gathering is to generate a performance report. In this phase, data custodians, the report generator, and the strategy performance team are collectively responsible for compiling all performance results, business insights, and analysis in a certain format for the decision-makers.

In conclusion, a solid data gathering enables decision-makers to set the right company’s objectives for the next period. A solid data-gathering process will help the performance management team provide the performance report required by the top management faster,  making the top management adjust the company’s strategy and objectives properly. If you want to learn more about how you could establish a solid data gathering process, sign up for The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner course.

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