The Reality of Too Much Data

Shhhh, I won’t tell anyone you are overwhelmed.

During a recent hospitality trade show where I was speaking, the trip took an interesting turn. I had planned on talking to the audience about “Getting Profits through Performance.” As I walked the show floor, I could not believe all the new and great technology available in the Hospitality industry.  There were back office solutions, beverage measurement solutions, employee solutions, reservations, empirical sales data………. I am sure you’ve seen it too—everywhere!  What amazed me the most is that not a single person, in a single booth, could actually tell me what do with all that data. Better yet, a question our own CEO likes to ask is, “How are we going to make more money by you knowing that information?”

A great example was a booth offering to sell you data of where money was being spent in your area of business; this was a really great tool.  But when I asked the sales person working the booth what an establishment is supposed to do with this information, his reply was this: “Oh, just forward it to your marketing company and they can figure out how to best use it.” So basically he offered a wish and a prayer for an expensive bit of data.

Managers are tasked with a multitude of directives, plus managing employees, owning the customer experience, representing the brand, driving profitability, and of course disseminating piles of data and sifting through the endless data sheets that come back. For some reason, it struck me in such a powerful way that I changed my entire presentation to the tune of—How much information can a person really take?  Information overload is a hot topic everywhere, although it doesn’t seem like we are really listening or taking it to heart, we just deal with it as best we can. And for the most part, we are not doing it very well and our customers are the ones who suffer when we cannot perform.

All this great new information in today’s society adds up to a monster of distraction.  I know that during the course of my day I am inundated with reports, emails, text messages and so on.  This is where we need to define a new type of manager; one that lessens the onslaught to focus on the important tasks and realizes that multitasking is a bad word.  Our heads need to be out of the data and our eyes need to be locked and engaged on the customer.

What I can tell you is my presentation was a huge hit. People were shaking my hand and thanking me for sharing various ways to take back control of their day. Here is a formalized Information Overload presentation of this high impact managerial topic.

David Pettit, Business Development Director at Red Book Solutions | 15 years Expertise in Performance Improvement, Local Store Marketing and Operations | Extensive Background in Restaurant and Bar Management | Current CFE Certification Candidate | Trainer and Management Champion Having Worked with many Fortune 500 Companies


4 responses to “The Reality of Too Much Data

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  3. Thank you! I have discovered another thing about the aging process and info stored in our heads. Like computers, we can enter more and more data, yet unlike computers, we cannot erase any of it! I would think remembering your address and phone number from when you were age 7 might just be the sort of thing that affects short-term memory as you get older. (Well, it sounds plausible to me….) Some days I think I simply can’t remember any new info given to me and I have to write it all down. Yet, there is that address and phone number, fresh in my mind as ever…….

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