Why data is our best birthday gift

Why data is our best birthday gift

18th April 2017 passed by uneventfully for most people. For us at Health iQ though, this marks an important milestone; 6 years as a company and a journey that has taken us from obscurity to a market leading position.

I am often asked what the key lessons have been during this time and though it’s a very interesting question, a lot of material already exists and others are able to expound their views clearer than I.

However, after much thought a key lesson critical for our connected age is data insight. Data has transformed the world we live in, and over the last 6 years this transformation has been truly revolutionary. History will look back at this point in time and compare it to the Industrial Revolution.

Data has also left its mark on leadership and management, particularly in the search for truth, meaning and as a currency for decision making.

At Health iQ we have cultivated a company culture based on empiricism to such an extent that all views presented in any discipline, whether marketing, sales, operations, delivery or finance is based on and backed up by data.

In fact, data and facts are the only currency for debate. This helps shape our open culture, since data and facts create an environment where nothing is out of bounds and all things are within the reach of the sharpest minds. Even junior staff know that any opinion, not based on data will be disregarded and this is more rigorously enforced at the board level.

We measure everything - from external client engagement to internal delivery: If it isn't measured, it’s not happening. This allows us to answer the classic management problem – how do you know what is really going on? However, our unique take on this is to collect data automatically, so speed isn’t compromised and then make that data available to all decision makers at the same time. This allows us to remain agile and provides greater transparency in thinking, a discipline Health iQ values above all others.

We measure negative behaviours by creating red flags from data gathered, allowing us to create a “Stop Doing list”, so we can cut out ineffective measures quickly.

Finally, we demand all leaders create clear action plans based on data and measurements, with speed and agility. This allows the board to assess the quality and depth of thinking. In summary, we have fused our unique leadership culture with data to create a dynamic organisation which is fundamentally based on the maxim that

Data has an unerring quality that will inevitably point to the reality and truth of things.

All leaders need to do is know where to look and how to use it!

Jilani Gulam ( https://twitter.com/Jilani_HealthiQ ) is founder and CEO of Health iQ.