Six (6) Critical Areas Nigerian Businesses must understand to Engage Data for Growth. (Part B)
“The core purpose of research and smart use of data (Intelligence) is not to tell us what we already know, reveal surface level information or validate professional experience in a particular area, but to lead us to the true and evolving story of causations, mechanisms etc., in its depths, facets and patterns for innovative engagements and improving humanity”.
Gospel Obele – CEO Streetnomics
Last time, we explored 3 out of 5 critical areas that must be well understood for businesses who seek to lead data for innovation that solves the actual problem (or improve the state of things) not what they think the problem is. These areas were on the Science, the Context and the Art. Please revert to the Part A.
In continuation, other significant areas requiring a good grasp of understanding include:
Human Capital: It is important to empower the human and the mind to think analytically, guide and tell the technology what to do to achieve the desired goals. The opposite has been the reality in the world today – we focus so much on technology and the software, that there is a growing dearth in analytical thinking (especially in Africa), in problem analysis, designing for intelligence, exploring information use and proffering the right solutions. There has to be a paradigm shift to the former, it is the quality of analytical mind/thinking behind the desk that determines the quality of design-to-solution.
Organizational Culture: Internal culture is critical to how far and how well the use of information can be leveraged on to improve the state of things. Many organizations want to engage with data but most times they lack the management/organizational will to engage, technical ability to lead, capacity to contain and manage the culture shocks that come with such transformation or the flexibility to allow data influence their agenda (positively). This has placed a limit on how far many organizations can go in meeting needs and for profits: a case of a self-limiting model. For others, it is developing the culture to understand and transform insights into sound strategy, thus the challenge of putting processes, the right people, right culture/trainings to engage, and measuring impact. A few examples include:
Organisation B engaged us for a financial sector research to understand its customers, after a rigorous design, planning, execution and findings discovery process, the insights were going to disrupt the current internal culture/mode of operation they run with which was largely unhealthy even down to employee satisfaction but required and necessary to meet customer needs in the new phase they were in. They only executed 50% of the findings because management could not take the risk for change.
For Organisation A (the Youth employment study as captured in Part A), the results challenged the professional experience and surface level narrative of youth employment in Nigeria. It unveiled richer and more insightful perspectives for thinking and engaging the unemployed but we had a tough time getting the client to understand the essence of research, as a tool to lead us to the true and evolving story of causations, mechanisms, depths and patterns for innovative engagements in unemployment, thus we were dealing with a case of trained incapacity.
In conclusion organizations need to get these dynamics right (over time) to enable intelligent design and use of information to improve the cause of humanity either through business, religious engagements, policy or otherwise.
Author – Gospel Obele
This goes far beyond the commenting! It composed his ideas while reading the post amazingly :