Are you ready for the data-driven management revolution? | Artificial intelligence

Amid all the talk about automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and the rising importance of data, there is another trend that is flying beneath the radar of most industry observers: the instrumentation of work.

At Dreamforce, Salesforce’s recently held user conference, there was meandering talk about values and philanthropy, but surprisingly little discussion, in the grand scheme of things (at least from the main stage), about the evolution of their technology.

When the company’s leaders did finally get around to talking about their software, it basically came down to two things: AI (in the form of the company’s intelligent assistant, Einstein) and integration via the company’s recent acquisition of MuleSoft.

What these two topics have in common, however, is that they are core building blocks that enable the enterprise to further instrument, monitor and manage human work. While it was no more than an undercurrent flowing beneath the surface, I believe it signals the beginning of a new stage of enterprise evolution: call it the data-driven management .

“The beauty of the SaaS explosion in the last 5-10 years is that the majority of frontline…work is now captured in the cloud,” explained Alexander Kvamme, Co-founder and CEO of Pathlight, a management automation company. “Whether that’s customer service, marketing, sales, or other functions—as teams become more data-driven, software can now help manage those data-driven teams…and build this high-level model that replicates a manager’s gut-level intuition.”

first places that enterprise organizations started using data to drive efficiencies and optimization. The spreadsheet has long been the manager’s tool-of-choice when it came to crunching management numbers.

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