Insider Business Club: maximising your enterprise IQ

Is there more scope for departments to share data?

Paul Stoddart, marketing manager, Microsoft UK

Yes that is absolutely something we agree with. A great example is between
finance and marketing, but you also see scope for it all the way down to the
sales team where the information they are inputting into their systems will
affect the way marketing, manufacturing and finance deal with their daily life
and routine.

Technology is an enabler. You can enable it to do things, but you have to
understand your organisation and you have to understand what different groups
within your organisation are trying to achieve and you have to know what
information needs to go to who. Enterprise IQ is something that we’ve been
looking at and thinking about for a long time. One of the things that we hear,
not just from our customers but also from analysts, is that information is
doubling, trebling, quadrupling yearly.

The amount of information people are having to deal with is an incredible
task. We have the infrastructure in place to deliver information, but how good
are we at really enabling people to use that information better.

How can business ensure information generated in meetings is valuable?

David Birchall, director of school, Henley Management College

I’m sure that some people who sit in meetings as chairman will say their
meetings are managed very well.

I think if one is looking at the management of a meeting, clearly planning is
important and I think a lot of people now are running so many meetings that they
are probably not spending as much time planning as they ought to.

An area that we are particularly interested in is facilitation. A way of
working with facilitation as a skill does actually make meetings more efficient
and productive. I think having a clear agenda, having clear actions and making
sure there’s a follow-up is crucial. I think that following a lot of meetings
there is no follow-up.

Another area which I think is very interesting is to what extent we review
how good we are at managing meetings and what we are learning from meetings.
Meetings are important for sharing, but we can manage meetings rather more

Why is there an interest in researching Enterprise IQ?

Jean-Anne Stewart, director of studies, Henley Management College

Certainly there has been an awful lot of research around information systems
and people using information systems, and I think we saw this as a really good
opportunity to actually find out where people are now. There are a lot of myths
circulating about drowning in data and people feeling overwhelmed and we saw
this as a really good opportunity to find out where people are at the moment and
what the current situation is.

People have obviously tried to deal with this. They have put in technology
and they have put in systems, but it doesn’t actually seem to be helping. We’ve
got issues around out of date information and it is confusing people. Systems
are cluttered with old information and that is going to affect how they make
decisions which will be a competitive issue.

If you think of some of the sizes of databases and the systems that people
use, including business decision makers, they are huge. A user of data could
pick up a document, access the system, find some information and use it and it
could be wrong and they may not know. For the finance teams, it has to be the
most recent information and it has to be accurate and reliable and they have
confidence in that.

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