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As you start thinking strategically about which areas to invest in over the next year in order to take your business to the next level, you may want to look into improving your business intelligence. The term "business intelligence" is often associated with technology companies, but data is exists in every business and in every industry. And, in every business and industry, that data can be harnessed for greater operational efficiency and effectiveness.
You can't manage what you don't measure—at least not as well as you could. Don't get me wrong--there are plenty in our industry who are still moderately successful without paying any attention to data. These folks are being successful without really knowing how. Could you imagine how much more successful they could be if they understood the underlying relationships in the data that are driving that success?
That's what business intelligence is all about—insight. Knowledge is power. The more you know about what is driving success (and what isn't), the more you can invest in activities that take you in the right direction. When you put in the right inputs, you get the right outputs. But you first have to know what those inputs are. First, you need the insight.
There's a lot of talk in the business world, as well as society as a whole, about the idea of big data. The truth is that data has always existed within organizations and those who were most successful have always been those who made a habit out of measuring their practices and developing them based on those measurements. However, today is different in that data has never been so abundant, and it has never been so easy to make use of it. So, what do you say? Will 2015 be the year that you start measuring your way to a better company? The data is waiting for you--all you have to do is use it.
David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at email@example.com.