By Kishore S. Swaminathan, guest contributor
FORTUNE -- A few months ago, I received a memo saying that employees in my facility at Accenture must keep their offices clean, subject to regular inspections. As it happens, I am fairly tidy, but I wanted to understand if there was any data to show that clean offices lead to higher productivity.
Not surprisingly, my request was sidestepped, and I was told, "Kishore, clean offices leave better impressions with visiting customers."
That sounded reasonable, so I asked if there was any data to show that our customers are more likely to buy our services or view us more favorably after visiting our clean offices. Now I was wasting people's time on what should be obvious, and a few colleagues even suggested that I move on.
In today's highly competitive global business environment, how you should use data to support your decisions -- large and small -- is exactly the kind of conversation that organizations should be having. And with advances in business analytics, there is every reason to make well-informed decisions since supporting data is, in many cases, readily available at your fingertips. More
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