Monday, February 6, 2012

AQ: Analytics Quotient - A Free* Resource

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In the coming months, you will hearing a great deal about your firm's AQ (Analytics Quotient). If you don't know what this term refers to, colleagues may think less of you. If you are familiar with this term, and actually learn how to increase its influence and prominence within your organization, you will find yourself in the enviable position of generating more profits, less waste, and improved cash flow. These are all positives. In order to provide you with a fair overview of the concept, I am going to cross post a piece from another of my blogs, http://BusinessAndProjectPlanning.blogspot.com.

Bear in mind, that when times are difficult and cash is not easy to find, you have a decreasing margin for waste or error. You must utilize more (and better) intelligence in order to more efficiently utilize and leverage your limited assets, discover quiescent assets (sometimes these creatures look a great deal like liabilities, until you find a way to profit by trading, selling or re-deploying them ), and eliminate every unproductive procedure, policy or expenditure.

A friend of mine (a clever serial entrepreneur) used to explain it simply..."Anyone can make millions if they start off with a good plan and several million, but if all you have is a good plan, you'll have to be much, much more intelligent and enterprising than your rich competitor or colleague." Here's the extract -- not to worry...I've gotten my own permission to utilize it.

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By "FREE*," of course, I actually mean the information which your organization is already receiving or collecting, but which is either being overlooked, unorganized or discarded as a waste product. Knowledge is indeed power, and any information which your organization collects may indeed be the key to some precious additional knowledge. The ability to identify, collect, organize and apply this "hidden-in-plain-sight" treasure is your firm's Analytics Quotient ("AQ").

The higher the AQ, the more likely you are to increase efficiency, effectiveness and sustainable profitability. The necessary actions, in beachcombing through this underemployed output are to:

1) Identify it:

2) Determine its implications and potential usefulness; and

3) Organize it into an actionable format;

4) Initiate action.

5) Monitor change and adjust trajectory.

*Please note that I have (reluctantly) avoided the analogy about,"Even on a farm, the horse manure can be utilized to fertilize a more vigorous crop."

An AQ measures how ready you are to apply insight to your strategy, processes and tactics; how quickly you can re-allocate resources and re-orient your people to make better decisions; and how effectively you can act based on how well you know your past.

The excerpt below appears courtesy of TechRepublic, and the embedded video is sponsored by IBM. Read, watch, and then please hit the "BACK" button on your browser so that we can come to some actionable conclusions and summarize what we've learned:

Outperform with a Higher AQ

Check out this video to see how businesses are succeeding in a time of uncertainty by leveraging the information they're already collecting. It's something that can change nearly every aspect of your business for the better. Click on the link below to see IBM's show of the obvious -- yet the obvious still qualifies as "unconventional wisdom."

http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/data/sw-library/cognos/demos/od_bao_outperforming_with_a_higher_aq/index.html
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The key to measuring your firm's AQ is still uncertain, but each of the following is an indication that you are elevating your firm's AQ -- And in this case, higher (even if we cannot yet measure it) is better:

1) You are capturing detailed data about all aspects of operations;

2) You are organizing this information into reports, reviewing them, coming to conclusions and taking actionable steps;

3) You are minimizing waste, and maximizing utility of any processing by-products.


You see, I believe that AQ is a measure of the following positive factors in combination:

1) Inquisitiveness;

2) Accountability;

3) Efficiency;

4) Ingenuity; and...

5) Focus on profitability.

It's time to mind your AQ, and to take it very, very seriously!

Don't throw potentially valuable and actionable data (intelligence) into the wastebasket or paper shredder unless and until you have looked at it for signs and signals about some aspect of how your business could be improved.


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