Every business leader knows the importance of data-driven decision making. But have you considered how data itself is driven through your organization — and how this journey can embed or erode trust in its insights? If you haven’t, you may be unknowingly making crucial decisions based on tainted data rather than the verified, Trusted Intelligence critical to guiding sustainable change and creating long-term value.
What you don’t know can hurt you
Of course, no leader knowingly uses poor quality data. The problem is it’s not always obvious, at least not at first. Leaders may assume the data they base critical decisions on is to be trusted. But is it?
Let’s consider the journey data typically makes through a company before it reaches the C-suite. It’s generated in one part of the business and often cycled across several departments and multiple hands before reaching leadership. Perhaps, along the way, someone applies the data in a way that it wasn’t designed for. Bias may have been unintentionally introduced. Questions may be raised (but never really resolved) about whether those who owned this data consented to its use.
By the time it reaches the CEO, some of the data may have been excluded, so they only see half the picture (and one that’s been edited, at that). And all of this is before we even consider instances of deliberate data manipulation, or malicious spread of fraudulent information.
This complicated data journey highlights the dilemma businesses face today is not around accessing information — new technologies generate mountains of data every second. The big challenge is to be certain data is accurate, verified and compliant. That’s simply critical if leaders are to be confident of the decisions underpinning transformation programs, and be ready to mitigate against risks.