In most companies founded pre-digital, data is scattered and fragmented within different silos, layers, and business units producing significant latency of weeks and months. People seeking a full picture of what is really happening in any day-to-day operation must spend intensive efforts involving many people, and suffer long wait times, in order to dig beneath the results on the surface.
Many of you can remember the painful experience and mounting frustrations of trying to gather important information from various divisions to piece together a complete picture for you, your team, or a presentation. In some companies, this need alone could justify a big division.
In such a setup, monthly or quarterly reviews could easily last hours or even days, as business and functional leaders sort through their pieces of the jigsaw puzzle one by one. Then such work can spiral out of control when the business grows bigger, the number of employees increases, and layers are added, due to the limitation of time and energy of any human being, i.e., the rule of “span of control.”
Amazon leverages modern technology to run day-to-day operations differently. Amazon’s data and metrics system is ultra- detailed, cross-silo, cross-layer, end-to-end, real-time, input-oriented and AI-powered; therefore everything can be tracked, measured, and analyzed in real time with anomaly detected, insights generated, and routine decisions automated.
In this way, it provides a single source of truth and significantly minimizes the need for “personal supervision,” thus enabling massive reduction in organizational layers.