Trusting Your Data

Martz Witty

Head of the Martz Group.

Many years ago I did a lot of work on client projects with an engineer. Being exposed to every different discipline of engineering, as opposed to my own disciplines, was both frustrating and educational.

One thing was definite though. The different viewpoint from this engineer created a wider awareness of both the issues facing the client and the possible solutions.

I’ve carried this learning throughout my entire career and now profess there is no one answer, there is no one-size-fits-all. Changing how we attack challenges, can, by virtue of the mere process itself, achieve desired outcomes.

Sadly, we don’t have the luxury of throwing countless bodies at helping survey alternatives for clients, so the “fix” has to be done by attaining appropriate, relevant and reliable data.

Nothing is surer than the old saying that “A person with an opinion and no data is just another person with an opinion”.

So where can we glean data from, to help in deliberating, when dealing with a business that is trying to get out of trouble, or just trying to do better?

In this instance, history can be useful.

Do you have your last five years’ worth of records in a format that makes it easy to glean trends?

If you do, then you can overlay those numbers with where you wanted to be (budget-wise). Why were budgets exceeded or not achieved?

Then, my favourite… benchmarking.

Benchmarking is data that has been generalised across a number of like-businesses.

When generalising results, some care must be taken, but benchmarking will highlight some key performance indicators, such as turnover, margin, occupancy costs, employee cost, profit, assets etc.

This data can be gleaned from a variety of sources, but your financial advisor should have access to benchmarking data – go and ask them for some help.

About the Martz Group

Martz Group is a niche marketed boutique group of companies that brings together the discipline and learning of chartered accounting with the creativity and passion of focussed business development, all carefully blended with the panache of motivational and professional speaking.

The company’s ethos is a commitment to realising clients’ goals through collaboration, quality service and fun, in a winning tribe environment.

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