One of the readings for this week is actually quite interesting to me, it talks about the concepts of data analytics, business intelligence and technologies that support businesses in the decision making process. As an Information Systems major, I have personally had hands on exposure to those concepts and ideas both in assignments and real world business projects. I personally believe that in this day and age, Information Systems drive the business decision making process and businesses cannot afford to not have one of these supporting their businesses. The problem however is whether or not we are using these information generated by those systems properly/effectively.
In our simulation, the MikesBikes software, the reports that we see, the graphs, these are all examples of information that are generated by Information Systems in a business except that in a business it comes from millions of data tucked away at data stores. Even though technology is so proficient at generating these reports to us users, the way the information is presented and how we users use that information can affect the decisions we make quite dramatically. For example, one of the problems of MikesBikes we have too many different types of reports for different purposes and when you have to do some decent calculations, you have to look through a few of the reports side by side. Even then, if you have a small monitor, you can only look at one report at a time rather than two reports side by side, which is super annoying.
As an IT major, what I did when we first started our weekly rollovers, I created an excel spreadsheet with the sole purpose to automate all potential calculations. Therefore, I just need to enter a single value, and the end result values automatically get calculated. I can even get the spreadsheet to show me when there are problems with the values I enter, for example, if the estimated production units exceed our firm's capacity. This greatly streamlines our team's decision making process because the calculations are not just fast but also accurate. However, I made a mistake in one of formulas and therefore the values are all incorrectly, luckily for us it was a minor part of mikes bikes and did affect our share price. That was an example of how technology, when used incorrectly (In this case, the wrong formula) can affect the decisions we make. We are just so prone to human errors (Garbage in Garbage out).
For my action plan, I think my team and I would continue to rely on the use of analytics to make our decisions but to refine the process, that is, to review reports and information more effectively. We usually base our decisions on one or two reports but in actually fact there are also other ones that could give you additional insights. Hopefully, this would give our firm an edge in MikesBikes.
Davenport, T. H. (2006). Competing on analytics. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 98--107.