Spooks, Star Trek and KPIs

Like 4.6 million other people, I enjoy Spooks. I do find myself wincing a bit when Harry, or whoever, makes completely random requests of his spy geeks and they always come up with the goods – you know the kind of thing – “can you cross reference that train ticket with his gardening bill and give us a live feed from the cctv in his fridge…”

The thing is, I used to feel like that when I watched Star Trek and scoffed at all the impossibly clever hand-held computers with voice recognition, flat panel displays and touch control. Then iPads came along.

The Spooks situation only looks impossible because it’s so far from where most organisations are at the moment (and the closer you are to data production, the more you realise this is the case). However, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t aspire to something fantastically better than what we have currently.

What impossible-but-really-cool capability would you like from your measures and reporting?



  1. Avatar James Lawther on September 25, 2011 at 07:04

    A report that told me that I was wasting my time, effort and emotions chasing down that issue, and really aught to be looking at this instead. Could you fix that for me Bernie?

    • Avatar Emma Jenkins on September 27, 2011 at 08:18

      James, in a manufacturing context, that would be a Pareto graph of all downtime/problems causing the process to be less than 100% efficient. You’d be wasting your time, effort, etc chasing anything other than (say) the top 3 issues, right? Conversely, even though it takes time, effort and emotional input to chase down the top 3 issues, those are the ones where the input is worthwhile.

      Can’t the same principle be applied to almost any situation, manufacturing or not?


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