730: 3 Important Things to Know About Your Organizational Data w/ William McKnight

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to William McKnight, President of the McKnight Consulting Group.

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A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BOB growth show. Today we were joined by William McKnight. William is the president of mcnight consulting group. He's an author, who's speaker, he's an educator. We are thrilled to have them on the show. William, welcome to the B tob growth show. Thank you, Jonathan's great to be...

...here today. We are going to be talking about the importance of your organizational data and it's going to be a very important topic. But of course, before we get into that, William, maybe you can tell tell me, maybe you can tell our listeners a little about what you and the McKnight consulting group are up to these days. So we're giving a lot of strategy services out there to our clients. Were helping them formulate their road map of technology, of different business targets that they could be targeting within their business, for with the use of data, I should say. And so we're helping them overcome data challenges in the targets that they already have and doing implementation around disciplines of big data, analytics, master data management and all the seams in between, of which there are many in the burgeoning world of data. So really helping clients out in their data journey right now. Yeah, well, and and certainly, I mean this is your area of expertise. One of the reasons we wanted to get you on the show and why we wanted to talk...

...about this idea the importance of your organizational data. So you know, William, kind of where is this conversation going to be starting? And they know that data is obviously an important asset of any business. But sort of diving in a little bit more deeply, what are we talking about. So we're talking about the most important competitive advantage in the next decade for organizations and that is how you use your data. and to use the data you have to get it under management first. And under management doesn't mean it happens to be somewhere but it's really rough and it's hard to get to and it doesn't perform and we can't really trust it and it's probably replicated three, four, ten times throughout the organization. So under management means that we know where it is, it's the one place or the two place. Is Not not an infant number. It's clean, it's thorough, it's detailed, we can access it, it performs very well, we can trust it and when you have that kind of information it really just opens up the possibilities for your organization, because...

...what I found and what you'll find if you look into this for your own organizations, is whatever the strategic objectives are for that organization, they're always supported, if not outright met, through the use of information. So what does it need? A customer list? What does it need? A Master Product List? What does it need? Clean transactions that you can believe in? Most of these objectives do. So let's get that together for the use of all of these objectives, and really it's not about your everyday low prices or your efficient supply chain or your great customer service. That's all. Those are all tickets to entry that we've dragged forward. But now it's the information age and it's what you do with your information that's going to set you apart. Yeah, obviously what you do with that information. But almost even touching on something that you had had mentioned a little bit early, that you have to this idea of clean data. One of the points I know that you were going to be meeting today during this interview, is that dirty data is going...

...to actually negatively impact your business. So maybe we can talk a little about what you mean by sort of dirty data and what businesses can be on the lookout for. Yeah, absolutely, it does no good to collect and distribute data if the recipients, the users as we call them, cannot trust that data and they'll go to their own methods ultimately to get the data that they need, which means replicating work and so on and probably coming to different standards within the organization. So I say put some energy into that data collection process to make sure that the data is of quality and what you do when you profile your data that you're collecting, you learn about the data entry part. You learn that usually this or that field is skip or we're using this field to actually mean something that we never intended for it to mean. We're putting this data in that field. Were bringing last names to different standards, or the addresses are not consistent and not they wouldn't correspond to any kind of postal...

...check or anything like that. So there's all sorts of things that could happen to data, mostly as a result of data entry and sometimes those systems where we enter the data we don't want to touch them because they've been around a while, they're doing their job, but we can change the data as we bring it into the systems where we're going to do our analytics, and I know we'll get into that, but we're we're going to do our analytics, do our reporting, do our what we call business intelligence, and so the you know, that's a different use of data than just bringing the data in operating your business, and so there's an opportunity there. If we don't actually change it at the point of entry, this is an opportunity to change it get it right for all these other uses of that data. HMM, you know. And when you're talking about getting it right, I mean are there? Are there some things that you know business owners can be on the lookout for? Or there are there? Do you have some some tips, some...

Church of the trade things that you know? Hey, I have. I had no idea I was even collecting data incorrectly, or I was. You know, if I wanted to improve on the data that I'm collecting, here are some things that I can actually do. Yes, there are some categories of poor data quality, but you touched on something that's pretty important in this, which is that you want to be sure that it's the business that's this contributing what the data quality rules are. Not It because they're not actually using the data. So we want business areas to be contributing and being a partner in data quality. So some of the areas where you can have data quality defects are what we call referential integrity, where, for example, you might put a customer number in but there's no corresponding customer record with that number over in the customer table. So who is this customer? You'll never know. Uniqueness. You might expect uniqueness or not. But you might have it in...

...some fields. Cardinality, which is the ratio between a couple of different fields. So you might expect a one to many and you're always getting a one to one. So relationship between those fields. So that might that would be something that would raise a flag and it's not necessarily wrong, but it would raise a flag. And there are a lot of categories like this that if you just went down the categories against the data with the business, you would find that your data is probably less clean than what you thought it was and you will build more trust in it if you just clean it up, because studies to found that nearly forty percent of all company data is found to be inaccurate. Wow, that's a pretty stagnory statistic, you know. And so that's that's almost on the that sort of seems to relate to the front end of the the data collection. Another point that I know you were going to be making today is this idea of predicting and intervening into the future. So...

...what does that look like? Yeah, so I think about analytics and I think about the purpose of analytics. The purpose of analytics as a strategy is to predict the future and it is to understand exactly what's going to happen, and you may like it, you may not, but what are some of the ways that you can intervene into that future and change that trajectory to be something more or less like what you would hope for? So, if products aren't selling, what's going to help them to sell? If locations are not popping like you would like, where should you be opening different locations for your stores or ATMs or what have you? What should you be doing in your business to actually achieve your objectives? And analytics. We've been talking about data, but analytics is data at another level. It's not just raw data that you may have placed into a database. It's refined data. It's data you have summarized and you brought to a greater point of cultivation so that your users...

...actually come to this data and they see it and they go, Aha, there are these things I need to do now for the business. They're not struggling with the data, you know, waiting a week for a report to come back and it's not useful anymore and they don't trust it and this sort of thing. The data should be screaming out, Hey, here's what you need to do now with the business and that's analytics. And a nutshell, analytics is saying I'm going to take my raw date, I'm going to refine it so it has meaning and it's going to be meaning that is going to drive the bottom line and drive action within the business. HMM. Yeah, well, and just very briefly mentioned this idea of getting these getting these reports, you know, hoping that they're hoping that they're fresh. In your example, you you had made a get a report. That's, you know, a week too late, that it's no longer relevant to what you're trying to accomplish. But you have said that reports are just the beginning of this idea...

...of of data exploitation. That's right, that's right. I mean, so many people are just locked into will. Data is about reports and you know I'll get a report. I can't do the report myself now, you know I'll have to ask somebody else to do it for me and I'll wait and and that's really really limiting because you just don't know what you can do with data if it's just coming in the static report that you can't interact with, that's on older data. That's probably to a spect that you had you know, months ago. So what I encourage is interaction with that data. What I encourage is that as we, as we, the builders of data infrastructures, build what we do, we build it with self service in mind, so that the end users, as we call them, can actually interact with that data, drill down, drill across, summarize that data to get to action, pound on it all day if they like, and actually continue to get insights. So today it's much more than reporting. I encourage people just...

...think about the next level up, which is dashboards, which you can maybe interact with, and then down the path, down the road into our future, will get into uses of that data that have to do with artificial intelligence. But you got to get the data act together first in order to be ready for that future. HMM, yeah, that makes a lot of sense and I do love the fact that you have you've sort of talked about this idea of just getting to action, because so much there are the obviously you can collect an infinite amount of data. People have data just sitting around. If collected it, it's sitting around in a spreadsheet, but just you know, it's easier than ever to just track that data. But then what do you do with it? You know, just having it sitting around is not doing anyone any good. You have to be able to extractate valuable information from that and then you have to be able, like you said, to get to action. That's right, you have to you have to know the full life cycle of the data. So why you're collecting what you're collecting is in...

...the result in a business action. So let's back up from those, these actions that we might want to take, like where to place the store, how to promote a product, you know, what products to to build, you know, let's back up from these actions and bring the data to bear on those actions that that would help them. Yeah, yeah, absolutely so. William, you know, as I mentioned before, I mean you, obviously, you're the president of the mcnight consulting group. You are an author, you are speaker, you are an educator, you're passionate about data, which is which is amazing. And this is a question we've been asking a lot of our guests on the show because they seem to have, you know, a vision for the future, a vision for their legacy, and I'm just curious, William, sort of what is what is your ideal legacy? What is the a legacy that you're trying to leave behind, whether that's personally, professionally or even a combination of the two. Well, interesting question, Jonathan. I think that I would just like to be remembered as someone who lived around this time period, that lived a life that if everybody lived it...

...would improve the level of suffering and and so forth on the planet. So a life consistent with the reduction of suffering on the planet, a life of treating life with kindness and fairness, and that's about probably all I can ask now. Well, that's I mean as beautiful and succinct and it makes a lot of sense. So you know, William, thank you again so much for taking some time out of your schedule. It was really a pleasure having you on the show. If any of our listeners are interested in finding out more about today's Today's topic, they want to find find out more about mcnight, consulting grow what they just even want to connect with you. What's the best way for them to go about to that? So you can send me an email at w McKnight, at McKnight se gecom, and obviously our website is nicknight c gecom. Brilliam. Well, William, thank you again so much. Really appreciate your time today. Thank you, Jonathan. There are...

...lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the BEDB growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a city near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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