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Analysis Paralysis

Management cares a lot about data and analytics when measuring improvements to a process. Profitability, realization, and time-related milestones are all common metrics. Bringing numbers into the mix facilitates strategic decisions. Companies, however, must understand that using charts and graphs to answer every business question is not feasible, especially when resources are limited.

If lean businesses do not accept this large amounts of time and energy can be squandered setting up experiments and waiting for answers. This paralysis can be harmful because it prevents companies from making strategic decisions promptly.

Management should take a step back and determine what data is really most important for making timely business decisions, and then develop systems to capture and analyze that data. The six sigma waste category of excess processing should be kept in mind. Time spent striving for perfection in data analysis when less than perfection is acceptable. Overanalyzing takes energy away from what you’re trying to do, which is run a business and provide value to your customers.