First published on LinkedIn in July 2018
Today we dashboard everything, democratizing data that was once only intelligible to those with hardwired statistical brains. Data is empowering and dashboards, particularly those that present real-time data have enabled business leaders to react quickly and make immediate decisions – brilliant if your organisation is agile, frustrating if it is still locked in the legacy of annual plans and budgets. And it is not just work that has benefited from digitalization and dashboards, how we shop and play are getting the same treatment; Our banks dashboard our statements, just in case we didn’t know we were not living within our means, and our various activity trackers will tell us when we are not going into the red too.
In my #50_5zero challenge my performance data has been coming from; #Garmin, #MyFitnessPal, #Strava and #JustGiving; calorie counting and daily weigh-ins on my Garmin Smart Scale, KM and Kudos on the road or #WattBike, HRV, FTP and VO2 Max, all focused on my breaking the 5 hour barrier for 100m/160km on a bicycle and then there is 50% improvement in fundraising target. My relationship with dashboards has highlighted the positives and negatives of the transparency they bring, I now check my performance stats more often than social media and it’s not always good.
How many of you checked out a dashboard as soon as you arrived at work this morning?
I am sure that the most brilliant leaders will find smarts ways to inspire their organisations as real-time data fueled dashboards remove the need for reporting; monthly, weekly or daily. Of course, the CEO who is being measured by the financial community on their value delivery every quarter will be able to see the issues and opportunities almost instantly, the challenges of long-term strategy and short-term objectives will not go away, but might get easier to balance. My concern is with the managers, particularly those that manage, in their hands a dashboard is a dangerous tool and far from empowering. How dashboards will impact mental health in the workplace is a question we will be asking soon.
This week I am posting as part of my 50_5zero challenge, drawing learnings from that experience in the hope that I might inspire some of the people that have read this far to click here and find about more about my challenge.