Data Is The New Oil


Oct 17, 2017

Data Is The New Oil, But Do You Know What To Extract?

In 2014, Google purchased Nest Labs and their innovative “smart” thermostat for $3.2 Billion. That’s pretty impressive if not even a bit absurd given that sales for Nest have barely broken $300 million annually.

WeWork, the worlds largest co-working space, is presently one of the world’s most valuable private companies with a valuation of $20 Billion, more than that of Twitter, Box (makers of DropBox) and Blue Apron COMBINED. In a world with a glut of available office space and an ever more mobile and remote workforce who doesn’t need it, how is a real estate company worth so much?

In both cases the answer is a four letter word. D-A-T-A.

The Nest thermostat learns how to optimally heat and cool your home based on how you interact with it. Over time it learns how to keep you comfortable in the most effective way possible. If it does this for a few million homes thats a lot of trends to analyze, the conclusions from which many companies would pay dearly to access.

WeWork is not merely a co-working space but a co-working space that tracks how it’s inhabitants work. Everything from lighting settings to desk height is recorded and analyzed with recommended adjustments given to fine tune your space and increase productivity.

Given their massive and rapidly growing geographic footprint, they have essentially created the worlds largest lab to determine how people work. Their plan is to take this data and sell it to large corporations looking to boost the productivity of their own workforces.

Both cases illustrate a thriving established business model (selling thermostats and renting desks) that became much more valuable by simply paying attention to the data that was right under their own noses.

I’m here to tell you that you have a similar opportunity if you start paying attention to another type of data that is right under your nose, behavioural data.

Chances are, given the channels through which we distribute our posts, you are either a business owner, a business leader or both. That means you have people and those people have personalities.

Many times these personalities have frustrated you. Sometimes they have amazed you. Regardless, the success or failure of your enterprise rests largely on your ability to reduce the former and increase the latter.

The unique thing about your peoples’ personalities is that they are not unique at all. Personality is nothing more than a coded set of Values, Behaviours and Emotional Biases all interacting in a closed system within your employees’ minds.

Values represent their world view and sense of right and wrong and Emotional Biases dictate which “version” of your employee will show up on any given day. Behaviours are the key as they are the link between the two. They are also the easiest part of a Personality to catalogue, code and predict.

At CultureSmith we use a simple, colour-coded, quadrant-based system for doing this. People are educated as to whether or not they are a Yellow, Green, Blue or Red, as well as what it means to interact with those who both share their colour as well as those who do not. We keep it simple, we keep it basic and we keep it effective.

Now the beauty of this is it affords leadership the opportunity to upgrade their Organizational Chart to what we refer to as an Engagement Chart. By coding your employees Behaviours (their colours) onto your org chart, you will know how engaged they stand to be given the work you will assign them as part of their role. You will be able to predict production shortfalls BEFORE they happen as opposed to after they become an issue because you will know how emotionally attached your people stand to be with the work you assign them based on the fixed traits within their behavioural colour.

Perhaps the most transcendent thing with this however, the most “Nest / WeWork Like Effect” this affords you, is the ability to do this for your customer base. Imagine not only being able to more effectively sell your product or service to your client, but to be able to forecast their ability to actually make use of it, and educate them ahead of time on how to overcome any obstacles they may have with YOUR solution based on THEIR behaviours.

Data is the new oil. It is the most valuable commodity on the planet. Start looking at your business through the lens of the “waste data” you are already collecting but not paying attention to, and chances are, there is a whole other vein of revenue you could be tapping into.

(If you’d like to begin to learn how to code the behavioural colour of you and your team, click HERE for our free assessment)


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