Recently, I was introduced to the concept (or application) of data walls while attending a conference. My definition of a data wall: Graphical tools used to engage stakeholders in focused discussion. Perhaps a picture or two would help...
This is a picture of a school displaying student performance on a standardized test. Each grade is represented by a color and there is one student name per post-it. It's displayed in a private area, due to confidentiality concerns, but that private area happens to be the teacher lounge. Can you imagine a better place to spark discussion among experts, i.e. the teachers themselves?
This is another picture of a school were data driven decision making is being applied. In this case, the information is, without a doubt, being used to motivate. The student themselves can see their progress as a whole, perhaps against prior year measures or against themselves. Check out this article for more info.
Could your business use a data wall? Perhaps you already have something similar on a smaller scale? A chart of quality control defects per month near the quality control office and a chart of gross sales you present at quarterly employee meetings? Why not publish all of this information and more, in a place where your employees congregate? What insights into your business might you gain from sharing information? An insight into cyclical events, an opportunity to reach for greater goals, just imagine the possibilities.
I'd encourage you to use a data wall to increase the transparency in your business. Your employees have the same goals as you do, such as doing a great job, moving ahead and increasing the value of their time spent at work. Sound familiar?