In the last few posts I’ve been exploring the developmental stages of how we use data on the quality journey. Stage 1 is Guard, and Stage 2 is Guide. In this post we explore Stage 3: Gain.

Stage 3: Gain – Proactively address common causes

In Stage 3 we begin using data proactively. Instead of using data to just guard or protect our customers and our selves (as in stage 1), or to guide our reaction to problems (as in stage 2), now we use drill down analysis to drive continuous improvement. In SPC-Geek-Speak we might say that we seek gains by systematically reducing common cause variation.

As in Stage 2, you may want to collect some additional information in Stage 3. You may find that you need additional traceability fields, or more granularity to your data. You will certainly take advantage of unique features in GainSeeker Suite, especially our drill down analytics and our analysis wizards.

But most of the transformation takes place in people, not technology. You’ll find you begin asking new questions of the data, and of your people. And often we see another concurrent shift taking place:   the development of teams and competency in team problem solving. GainSeeker makes this transition easy for your people because they don’t need to burn hours doing the data shuffle – they can dive into data to quickly and easily discover the answers to their questions. Nor do they need a special high-end stats package and the know-how to build customized queries

As you forge ahead into this new territory the rewards can be astonishing. We often see our customers get Galactic Returns on their investment.

In a future post, I’ll look at why GainSeeker is the only commercial system that can accompany you on all three stages of the journey. Our experience is that GainSeeker is a system that you will grow into, not out of.

But for now, what gains are you seeing because of your proactive use of data? Have you seen shifts in your organizational culture? Do you have an interesting story to share? Post a comment below, or write to me at ejmiller [at] hertzler [dot] com. I’d love to hear from you.