The nature of my job means that I come into contact with a lot of decision-makers from across the EMEA region. Many have built very successful careers and often large enterprises by making good decisions.
I'm always very interested about the process – and I have come to notice that good decision-makers are often very inquisitive. When they speak to me, business leaders want to know how our solutions can improve their businesses – but they often go that step further – they ask how our solutions can empower them to make better decisions.
They are often not looking for a simple answer, more a better way of approaching the challenges they face and using the expertise they have to drive their business in the future.
It's not a simple process, of course – otherwise anyone could do it! For manufacturers there is no shortage of important decisions and many other smaller ones that add up – some with an almost unfathomable amount of factors to be taken into account.
Making sense of those factors can seem daunting, but it stands to reason that the quality of the decisions we make is reliant on the quality of the information available to us.
You could say that information is the currency of decision-making – the more currency you have, the better decision you can make.
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), the amount of data becoming available for decision-making is growing exponentially. A simplistic understanding of how this plays out in the industrial space is that better decisions can be made.
But actually, that's not the whole picture. And I was reminded of this recently in a meeting with two leading executives from a large food and beverage manufacturer. Their needs were not about understanding how to get data, but rather, how to turn that data into better decision-making.
The idea that more data leads to better decisions (and thus improvements in efficiency or productivity) is wrong. Or at least it misses out two vital layers.