What Happens when Big Data Meets a Little Strategy?

Last week, in Las Vegas we had the opportunity to participate in a 2 – day “Mastermind-type” strategic session with a gathering of technology and Internet entrepreneurs and executives from around the globe.

It was an impressive group – leaders of companies with average sales of $8 million and competing and prospering in industries than run the gamut – from consumer products, to healthcare IT, to energy and entertainment, to mobile apps and wearable technologies, to real estate, and more.

To those who have never participated in a business mastermind, you don’t know what you’re missing! Originally conceived by legendary personal development guru Napoleon Hill, a Mastermind is a gathering of like-minded professionals that meet regularly and over time develop a productive and high-trust dynamic through which to attain breakthroughs of insight and accountability around and about strategic, tactical, and management challenges.

Mastermind groups, both generic ones and branded versions like Vistage and YPO, are where the hard, methodical work of entrepreneurial business – building and growth gets done.

The “table topic” was best practices, as they apply to smaller companies, of data-driven decision making, dig data and business intelligence dashboards.

It is obviously a very timely one – as “BI” tools and software have matured in the last few years to become for the first time truly easy to use, effective, and affordable for smaller companies and organizations.

We talked about how the companies getting the highest “BI ROI” connect the dots between their “old” and “new” school strategic planning and thinking.

They are old school (in the absolute best, non-pejorative sense of the term) in that they recognize that strategy

…arrived at through Mastermind get-togethers, through board and advisory board meetings, through corporate “retreats” and through any form “step back and reset” get togethers – remains fundamental in attaining and maintaining long-term business success.

And they are new school in their leveraging the very many best-of-breed business application software as services that use big data to arrive at this strategy.

Tools like CapitalIQ, Simplycast, The Resumator, Box, Grasshopper, Wufoo, Smarsh, IfByPhone, SnapEngage, Docusign, Hootsuite, Infusionsoft, and Interspire that automate traditionally laborious and repetitive business functions.

And, as they do, collect massive reams of data on much of the marketing, sales, operations, finance and management activities of a business.

And, for the first time, the technology has finally matured to where all of this collected data can be automatically organized, standardized, and consistently presented on an always-on, always-accessible, and visually appealing Online Dashboard.

We had the opportunity to present our firm’s “Old School meets New School” business intelligence philosophy, along with our online dashboard offering.

We live and work in a time when technology has created such promise and power to allow companies to run better, easier, and more in alignment with their missions than ever before.

And as they do, well…

…the best numbers on the best dashboards are starting to show increasing piles of sales and profits, too.


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