There is a popular philosophy that many are espousing that claims “it’s not about the tools, it’s about the people.” There is some truth to this philosophy, it is about the people but it is also about the tools.
As I was preparing to write this post, I found myself struggling to come up with a good analogy to make my point. I was struggling because I couldn’t find just one analogy — I found thousands. In every moment of life, we are making use of some kind of tool. This makes sense, the way that humans make and use tools is one of the major components that sets us apart from other species, so how could I pick just one (there are millions of specialized tools for woodworking, cooking, building a house, paving a road, fishing, hunting, writing, and on and on and on) to illustrate the importance of tools?
When it comes to digital measurement, we have seemed to forget the age old adage of “use the right tool for the job.” We have developed such smart analysts that we can in fact use a hammer to saw a piece of wood…or can we?
If your goal is to build a data driven culture within your organization, don’t fall into the trap that it’s not about the tools, if you do, the culture you create will be mediocre at best, will fail miserably at worst. The right tool for the job is critically important and should be treated as such. I have seen many organizations that simply grabbed the nearest tool off the shelf and expected their really smart people to produce. It was no mystery to me that the organizations failed to excel and were mired in frustration.
As you are examining the types of tools you will make use of in your organization, ask yourself questions like:
- How will people adopt the tools I expect them to use?
- Does the tool create efficiencies within the organization?
- Will the tool provide the type of data needed?
- Is the level of precision provided by the tool in alignment with our needs?
- Is this the right tool for the job? i.e. Should I use a chainsaw to make precise cuts?
Aligning the right tools (and the right people) with your business needs will go a long way in helping build a data driven culture.