Companies are systems composed by different areas and levels. Those areas and levels perform a very important role in the organization that will (or not) allows it to achieve (or not) its objectives. Said that it is important to understand how vital is the information system flow.
Even when some people may think that this post is mainly focused on big corporations, it is not. Information flows will determine how effective is the decision making process into any company no matter how bit it is. If you have a 10 persons company and the 10 are making decisions with a 30 pages report, then are all of them losing very valuable time in understanding a love of information that was not generated with that person (or area) in mind, then will not fit their needs.
So, first step, please, pleaSE, PLEASE, it is extremely important that you understand your company structure, which means, levels and areas that compose your organization as well as the interactions among those parts.
What is the role of each area?, how it help the entire structure to reach the system’s goal. Every single area and every single person in a particular area is important for the company (otherwise why are you paying that extra salary?) so the better they work the better the company results will be.
The following Analytics 2.0 Chart called Backbone Chart explains in a very graphical way how it works.
The Backbone chart shows the three different levels of a company joined by a line (Backbone). The backbone is the Information flow between levels. Each level measure their work in a particular language and reports to its up or down level in the destination level reporting “language”.
The operation marketing area (part of the Marketing Department) can measure and analyze their work in counts like 500 conversions but the Marketing Manager will be reported with information that allows him understands if the Marketing Department is or is not achieving its goals, like performance by media channel measured in (for instance) ROI or ROCI.
The CEO is responsible for converting strategy into action driving the company to healthy situation in the present and in the future. So what this person need to be reported is if the company is achieving its objective and if it is not, where is the problem.
The Middle Level Managers (Marketing Manager, Adm&Finance Manager, etc) are responsible for making their departments accomplishing its goals. If you want to have a healthy company of course you need sales but also need that someone delivers what was sold, and someone that make the clients pay for the received product or service. So this people need to be reported with information about its apartment level of achievements.
The operations level is responsible for converting orders into performed tasks. So the information they need is related with their own tasks, they need to know if what they did generated the expected results, nothing else.
If you are expecting that a person from the operations area from the Marketing department drives 10% more clients to your website then the only information this person need to know is if they did it or not and how to improve that process.
So the Backbone Chart shows that each level works with their own reports and speak their own “reporting language” but communicate in a different (and accepted) reporting language with the superior organizational level.
Please, stop reporting quantity of conversions to the Marketing Manager or even to the General Manager or CEO. Think twice every time you are reporting to someone, “will this information allow the target person to make his decision?“