Data-to-THINK or Data-to-SHOW

Do you understand the difference between Data-to-THINK (DTT) and Data-to-SHOW (DTS)?

It is the most important question I want to explain to my customers. And the difference is significant!

At first, let’s discuss the idea of DTS. This type of data and visualization commonly used simply to show information. For this is not needed and special experience in data management and almost any person can make a table or a graph. Because it is only information for main audience. It is not needed and not requested any understanding of the question. Mainly all media and political information is DTS like. For the media it is understandable because nobody understands final information consumer. But the more important that it is used also in the companies’ internal meetings. Mainly all departments, branches care about their own results. Their analysts care about the outcomes and show magnificent and success. Peoples working with this type of information in most cases not ready for questions about FUTURE! And from a company development perspective no any added value.

The easiest business example:

  • Sales department shows INCREADIBLE sales results at the end of a year. Everybody happy and sales department employees waiting great bonuses. Simply the best!
  • Cash flow dramatically improved because of an INCREADIBLE stock volume decrease.

Beautiful picture, isn’t it? But, what about the FUTURE! Purchasing department in TOTAL SHOCK. Sales department didn’t inform them about potential sales in the month and completely drain the stocks. And in case of long lead-times next 1-2 month there will not be any products to sell. In addition, nobody cares about conditions how sales achieve this INCREDIBLE results. Because profitability mainly controlled by high managers, they simply give longer payment terms or additional bonuses may eat the profitability of next periods. The finance department will be in stress to find money to pay suppliers because payment conditions are the same.

Result 2 department lucky and 2 in stress.

The Political information example:

  • Opposition parties on public speech critiques rules parties for LOW AVERAGE sales compared to neighboring countries. As a political and populist question it discussed very loud. But, from reality point view necessary to compare with all other factors in the labor market like education level, productivity skills set and country investment attractiveness. This question requests DIFFICULT discussions and LONG TERM PLANNING no one political party is ready.

And now let’s discuss DTT. It is a more complicated process because requests the data connection between departments and branches and special experience of employees. DTT not possible to show in less than 3 different graphs from different operation fields. This information and presentation created with CLEARLY DEFINED QUESTIONS and PURPOSE. And history is good but the most important is future activities.

Example of DTT:

  • Sales development necessary to combine together with stock level development or service level, stock level prediction for next periods as long as current product lead-time, how many active customers and how many are new, changes in payment conditions and possible discounts.

How many companies have this type of reporting system and proactive solution quickly react to unexpected business environment changes? Usually it takes weeks simply to combine data, then needed time to make conclusions, planned activities and all this may take months! And for companies it is very easy to calculate how much a company may lose from this. Development of the DTT type system is more that attractive compared to possible profit and market share losses.


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