After my post last week, I started thinking more about when I applied minimalism to my life, and how I didn't really understand the purpose of it until I focused on minimizing the right things, and not just all things. It's a very important distinction I think. See, minimalism isn't about seeing how little you can get away with, it's about reducing down to the necessities, because when we reduce down to those necessities, we can truly get the most out of them.
In business, we have one ultimate goal; to make money. What we do with that money can vary, certainly. Some of us will use that money to expand our business, others will use it to deepen the coffers, and others will use that money for the soul benefit of others. Regardless of what we do with our earnings, we a) want to get the most out of them, and b) want to reduce the cost of getting them. As we all know, cost isn't just something tied directly with a dollar amount, it can mean time, effort, or opportunities elsewhere.
At its core, this is what BI is all about. Minimizing our costs and maximizing our gains through the use of tools that give us information. That information assists us with getting rid of the excess. But that information can itself be part of the excess.
Let's suppose you sell umbrellas. You sell various shapes, sizes, and types of umbrellas. They're pretty popular, so you always want to make sure you have enough stock of umbrellas available at retail for your customers to buy. A good way to do that would be to know, on average, how many umbrellas you sell in a given month. Pretty simple so far. Let's also suppose you have several years of historical data to give you a good idea of how many umbrellas you sell in a given month, broken up by month. If it's October, why would you need to know, right now, what the average amount of umbrellas sold in July is? Further, why would you need to know that at this exact second, and every second of every day?
It's an extreme example, to be sure. But the point, I hope, is clear. BI isn't just about getting you the right information, it's about getting it to you at the right time. Too much information can pull you away from what's important. Too much information takes your attention away from what you need to see, right now. And if you're distracted from what's important to your operation at this moment, what's the point of having BI in the first place?
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