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Toward Making Data- Driven Decisions

Krista Dixon, CIO, Textron Specialized Vehicles
Krista Dixon, CIO, Textron Specialized Vehicles

Krista Dixon, CIO, Textron Specialized Vehicles

The importance of data-driven decisions lies in its ability to enable organizations to create new business opportunities, drive more revenue, foresee future trends, create actionable insights, and optimize the present operational efforts. Businesses, therefore, can evolve by infusing data in their decision-making sessions.

Significance of Data in the Manufacturing Space

The most common trend in the manufacturing space today is—data analytics. The connected devices, driven by IoT, are playing a major role in making data-driven decisions for strategic initiatives. Gone are those days when the focus was merely on finding ways to gain access to the data or how to consolidate them. Today, what organizations are doing to induce data into decisions is an important point of discussion.

Core Developments in Helping Customers Manage and Store the Data

Today, a wide array of analytic applications is available in the market. Several companies are putting efforts to utilize their core systems to drive analytics. To build analytics within their core solutions that can provide what the business requires have become the vital mission of the application developers now. This trend is seen in the software companies like SAP and Salesforce, in their efforts to identify suitable analytics that manufacturing businesses require to build into the core solutions.

  ​The connected devices, driven by IoT, are playing a major role in making data-driven decisions for strategic initiatives   

The Leadership’s Focus on Working with Data

Quick access to data is one of the major discussion points today. Due to the busy schedule, the people in the leadership level cannot involve themselves in several tools. They travel a lot and often have to work from different unfavorable locations. In case they have to make a decision, they need to have quick access to the data and that too in a device that they are carrying along with them. Therefore, there is a strong need for acquiring data swiftly in a format that mobile devices support.

Major challenges faced by organizations in managing data

One of the major challenges is that not all of the data belong to one source. Organizations struggle to identify the tools that can be used to format and push that data to a device, so it is easily accessed and consumed. Another difficulty that they come across is—how to integrate multiple sources of data into that device so that you can work with all the required data. Thus, bringing them all in one package can make tasks easier and also quicker.

Making Large Data Easily Accessible

Tools and application providers are getting smarter in the sands of time. They know how to work with the larger volumes of data. Earlier you had to put together a Hadoop Cluster to get big volumes of data. But today, the scene has changed. Established companies like Microsoft have begun creating the mini Hadoop Clusters within some of their analytics tools. This makes it easier to work within a tool and format that you are familiar with and can access a large amount of data with ease.

Impactful Initiatives to Drive Business Success

How to get the best out of the connected devices is one of the most enticing initiatives today. I believe many companies, including Textron Specialized vehicles, are willing to understand and gather insights into the accessibility and the maintenance of our products. Additionally, they also want to comprehend better as to how the customers are making use of those products. The advent of the connected devices has played a major role in enabling organizations to drive effective business decisions through those insights.

We are now focusing on the connected products and their abilities to assist us in learning more about our customers, and providing enhanced customer service while acquainting them with how our products are being used in the field across multiple industries. Bottom line—our focus is on gaining insights from the data extracted from our products to ensure that we are providing unsurpassable services to our customers and in the best possible ways.

Influencing Leadership

Talking about the leadership strategy, the core motive is to build strong associations between the leadership and the staff. This helps organizations increase productivity as employees can gain the impetus from this bond and loyalty to deliver their best efforts. So, I strongly focus on staying connected with my staff.

We conduct ongoing conversations to identify our skillsets and drawbacks and how we can improve in our offerings. My staff and I work very hard as a team to make sure that we are focusing on the right projects. With an intention to enhance the bond, we organize a specific program where we have monthly business partners’ sessions. The session does not necessarily have to be around technology. We discuss business strategies as well. This session gives us a detailed idea about the current happenings in every organization so we can understand how to help them out by staying connected with the business and analyzing the business strategy.

Advice for Increased Productivity and Business Success

It is our responsibility to ensure that the IT environment is functioning properly. Also, it is critical to ensure that you are working on the right things to take the business to the path of progress. Thus, an appropriate plan of work should be made to avoid any wrong steps along the way. It is obvious that mostly in the IT industry, personnel are in a hurry. But at times, it is important to put the necessary brakes to avoid mishaps on the way and make sure that you are well acquainted with the business values.

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