Why “Why”? The word is the bane of many a parent. But somehow children instinctively understand the power of asking, “Why?” It’s a potent tool for understanding the world around us, though we seem to lose appreciation for it over time. In the military context, Sun Tzu exhorts warriors to “know the enemy and know yourself” so that “you may make your victory complete.”
Organizations follow this principle by pursuing development of a common operational picture (COP) to provide them with situational awareness (SA). With the display projected on the wall of the operations center, organizations can then be proud of the decision aid they’ve created.
To be truly impactful, though, decision aids need to actually aid decision-making. But how many COP or data-visualization projects start out by asking, “What decisions do we need to make? What information do we need to make those decisions, where do those data reside, and how do we interact with the data most effectively?” Pretty straightforward, right?