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Decision-makers don’t need more data, they need contextual data

Flooding a leader with raw data is one of the quickest ways to reduce their ability to drive company performance. In this article, we talk about why decision-makers need more contextual data.

Aren’t we all plagued by not-so-efficient meetings? Well, leaders are too.

According to HBR, meetings make up a big bulk of a CEO’s day too; 72 percent of their work time is spent in meetings, compared to 28 percent alone time. Thirty-two percent of the CEOs’ meetings lasted an hour, 38 percent were longer than that and 30 percent were shorter.

What information do CEOs and leaders need to run an organization as effectively as possible? It's a simple question, but I don't think most leaders spend nearly enough time thinking about it.

Your first answer might be "All of it. The more information they have, the better!" Big data is hot, and we tend to think that more information means we can do a better job leading.

But in my experience, flooding a leader with raw data is one of the quickest ways to reduce their ability to drive company performance.

“Decision making is impeded when evaluating information that is wrong or excessive, and thus [data] should be limited to the absolute minimum and most relevant available.”, says Michael Schultz.

And it makes so much sense. 

Hundreds and thousands of rows and columns of raw data does not make sense for any leader, manager let alone the CEO.

Sales managers need to dig deeper into their existing data to maximize its value. Rather than spreading yourself too thin and attempting to track and analyze everything, it’s in your best interest to narrow your focus to only the most relevant data.


Because if you’re focusing on too many things, you end up focusing on nothing. It all relates to the age-old debate about quality vs. quantity. Many leaders fall victim to the mistaken belief that “more is better,” but that isn’t the case when it comes to your data.

Let me boil it down to three characteristics every sales leader or CEO should look for in the information he collects from the organization, be.


Without proper context, the mountain of data doesn't coalesce into anything informative or usable. Instead of this bottom-up approach, the key is to reverse our thinking and come at the problem from the top-down and tailor it to what you need to know.


Batch data makes little sense for sales leaders. Complex incentive calculations need real-time data for all sources like the CRM, ERP, and payroll. It is almost impossible to extract data from these sources, work on them and keep them updated, real-time. This process is slow, manual, error-prone and it isn’t real-time making it really difficult to course correct.


Unfortunately, data is by definition historical. It tells you about what has already happened. You need to know what is likely to happen. But sales leaders and CEOs need more than this. They need predictions. And course correction. Analytical and dashboards empower the team leaders, management to slice and dice the information available in various ways. 

Decision-makers don’t need more data, they need solutions that help them understand what the data is telling them, instantly. Get rid of the noise and hyper-focus on what matters most.

As a sales leader, you have a lot of priorities. From monitoring your team’s activities to coaching your sales reps, to pulling reports and analytics, there is plenty to focus on all at once and not much time to do it all.

This is exactly where Compass is a game-changer.

Compass helps sales leaders and CXOs with contextual, real-time, and actionable data. 

Compass automates commission calculations and payouts to minimize delays. With tools for program design, target-setting, milestone-based interactive game templates, live leaderboards, program analytics, and a global catalog for rewarding with more than 16000+ options to choose from, and helps organizations manage incentive programs, end-to-end, efficiently.

Please feel free to reach out to me at abhishek@getcompass.ai and I would love to take you through Compass, live in action.

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