One of my trainees recently asked me for some help with an assignment she had in her philosophy class. Now I am such a Star Trek fan aka Trekie, that of course the first thing that comes to mind in the character Spock.
I imagine that is anyone ever took a formal survey of analysts and analytics professionals, most would list Spock high on their list of “cool characters.” The use of logic to solve problems is a key plot point in several episodes and movies. Anyway, I digress…
The assignment is to look at the paperwork in a business and determine how logic and logical principles are applied. I look at logic as being used primarily in two different facets of paperwork.
1. to set priorities… using deductive reasoning to decide what priority is more important and which one to work on first. This is something that is hard to teach and a common interview question. Trying to determine if a person knows how to establish priorities tells you a lot about how logical they think.
2. to establish procedures… logic is used to set up a process like an assembly line or a pipeline where things are done in a routine that is most logical. Being efficient and optimizing a process require a lot of logic in the design and implantation of the process.
So for paperwork… the paperwork that gets done first is the highest priority like payroll… logic dictates that paying employees is the most important and logic helps you set up a process for paperwork… like if a form needs three signatures, you would use logic to set the order of whose signature you get first, second and third
When you have a problem with a process or too many priorities to accomplish all, you use logic to help you solve the problem.
Analytics, or the discipline of using data to drive decision-making in a business, is closely related. Logic is used to identify the data you need, logic is required to interpret the analysis and logic is needed to determine how bet to communicate your findings.
When you look at any business (or government, organization, structure, etc.), you need to employ logic to make that business run and paperwork is a big, big part of the resulting of using logic. Forms, reports, summaries, etc… they are all receptacles of logic that are used to keep things moving.
So when asked why I do what I do when it comes to the paperwork in my business, I am going to tell you because its logical to do it that way. Or as Spock might say, “Logic dictates how and why we use paperwork.”
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