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January 06, 2020

How To Provide Information Hungry Executives The Right Information

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Business leaders are highly curious. They are always on the lookout for new data-driven opportunities. They are thirsty for the knowledge and insights that can provide an edge in an ever-changing market. Senior executives spend on average four hours reading thought leadership content every week and CEOs spend more than five hours a week. So the question is what data and information are they searching for and how can you make certain you providing what they need?

CEO’s thought candy is composed of several ingredients. CEO’s specify their main ingredients for running a business efficiently and profitably. The filling or center of their information candy is data-and lots of it. The data and the unique insights that flow from it are crucial for a CEO to make smart strategic business decisions that will keep the company on top of a quickly changing market. When business executives search for interesting content, they are looking for unique insights that are backed up with credible research. They want that one golden nugget of information that provides an actionable insight and that has news value. Be able to provide the evidence to back up your insights and your own credibility will grow.

CEO’s thought candy is composed of several ingredients. CEO’s specify their main ingredients for running a business efficiently and profitably. The filling or center of their information candy is data-and lots of it. The data and the unique insights that flow from it are crucial for a CEO to make smart strategic business decisions that will keep the company on top of a quickly changing market. When business executives search for interesting content, they are looking for unique insights that are backed up with credible research. They want that one golden nugget of information that provides an actionable insight and that has news value. Be able to provide the evidence to back up your insights and your own credibility will grow.

How can you build better data for your executive team?  Start by identifying a knowledge gap. Use the tools available to you to understand their business needs and areas of interest. Learn to be extremely clear about what data point you are going after. The more specific you can be the more helpful the data and any insights you can pull from it will be.  Learn to apply social listening to your business audience. Make the most of your social listening and sentiment analysis tools and look for ways to apply them to your data.

Bone up on your journalism skills and bring them to bear upon the data.  With all of the data analysis tools available you can begin to uncover more interesting stories and insights by digging deeper into the numbers and really targeting in on areas of interest to your executive team.

What are the other ingredients? A great story- if the CEO can’t stay awake through the story they can’t reap the benefits of the data or any insights presented. Finally, the data and insights need to be designed in a way that brings them to life.  Let’s face it – even though data can be beautiful, most of the time it is simply boring because of the way it is presented.

Why is the story so important? Great storytelling makes the most complex data concepts make sense and it will help executives to answer the question why is this data important and what is it telling me to do?  Good stories take readers on a journey and help transform abstract concepts into insights that can be acted on.

Try non-linear storytelling. Rich, in-depth content split into easily digested chunks of information. Design your story so it can be easily browsed through. Use a variety of media because you do not know which elements of your story will peak interest and make them read on. In terms of layout make your story pop with interesting visual content but keep it simple and elegant.

The how part of providing information to executives is as important as the data itself, and providing data that brings meaning and new insights requires the power of the cloud. From HR to finance a company needs software that can provide data spanning the entire organization in order for the data to be able to make new connections and generate new credible insights that spur decisions that move the enterprise forward and keep it competitive.

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