Focusing on what matters is essential to your daily life and to your business. Without focus, we would walk blindly through life. In the article How The Power of Focus Can Lead You To Success, there is a story of a Zen master teaching his students. The Zen master wanted to show his students a new technique of shooting an arrow. He told his students to cover his eyes with a cloth and then he shot his arrow. When he opened his eyes, he saw the target with no arrow in it and when he looked at his students, they looked embarrassed because their teacher had missed.

The Zen master asked them, “What lesson do you think I intend to teach you all today?” They answered, “We thought you would show us how to shoot at the target without looking.” The Zen master said, “No, I taught you that if you want to be successful in life, don’t forget the target. You have to keep an eye on the target, otherwise, you may miss a good opportunity in life.”

Understanding at all Levels

Different levels and specialized groups use data to act in different ways. Because of the different use cases, groups that manage the data or data collection process often feel stakeholders are reluctant to align with one another. Many enterprise organizations have a corporate office that helps create guidelines and policies. The purpose of this office is to understand all the use cases and simplify the data in a consumable way to all levels of the organization.

To keep the solution simple, good practitioners need to choose a key metric or methodology that is understandable at all levels of the organization. There are many examples in the industry with indexes, NPS, consistent calendaring and other options. When deciding on what key metrics you are measuring as a company, ensure that it is one that all employees can understand. If it’s not easily understood, consumers of the information will not act on it. Provide training for the employees to help them understand what the metric is and what they can do to help improve the success of the company. Employees need to understand to be able to contribute.

Focus Reports for the Right Audience

Once you determine what you want to report on, you need to find the right way to present the information. Reports that are relevant to executives are different than what you would show your front-line manager or employees. Different people need to consume the same data in different ways.

When you create reports, put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the information. There are a few key questions that you should ask yourself when creating a report.

  • Is the information relevant?
  • Is the report easy to understand?
  • Can actionable insight be created by having this report?

If the answer is no to any of these questions for the audience it is intended for, rework the report until you can answer yes to all of them.

Design With the End in Mind

To be able to get the insights and reporting that you need at all levels of the organization, you need to have all the data to create that reporting. Before collecting data, there must be thoughtful consideration to what data you need, which channels you can get that data from, and how you can reach your customers that can provide that data. The Zen master teaching his students knew he had a target to reach, but couldn’t see enough to shoot his arrow in the right direction. As CX practitioners we always need to keep the outcome of what we hope to achieve in mind when designing our programs. Without the right direction at first, we too will miss our aim of actionable insights if we aren’t able to get the right information to the right