Data has different functions for everyone. Yes, a number is a number, but we all place different value and importance on that number.
A prime example is how big differences occur in the way a finance manager, plant manager and president/CEO look at the importance of data.
Finance Manager: Sees data primarily as a means for generating reports, automating business processes and managing documents. Finance touches all aspects of business — executives, managers, production, growers, sales and customers. At any time, any one of them — or all of them — could need critical information. Having quick, easy access to data is the only way to keep the business cycle going smoothly, in the finance manager’s eyes.
Plant Manager: Uses data to ensure an accurate inventory can be taken, accurate planning done, accurate mixtures made and accurate orders taken. Data allows crucial information to be provided to the executive team and sales. For the plant manager, the goal is to fulfill orders quickly and accurately and avoid costly returns. Data should have integrity that allows customers to count on their orders being right. Always.
President/CEO: Any business owner lives and breathes data. You use it to make countless key decisions. If that data is wrong or isn’t available at critical times, it could cost your company significantly. The operative acronym for the leader of a business is RSA — reporting, sharing and analysis. This is what data is for, in this person’s eyes. A president/CEO is always watching the bottom line and keeping an eye on the horizon. He/she needs to see how the departments are contributing to the company’s success, at the same time developing strategy for staying on the cutting edge of the seed industry.
These are all different ways of looking at data, but they all have one thing in common — a need to ensure the data is easy to access, accurate and can be shared with others in a convenient way that doesn’t require guesswork or create opportunities for error. A good business management system will do that.
We all might see things differently, but good software helps to ensure everyone is on the same page and working from the same playbook at all times.