Context matters - definition of context Have you ever looked at data online that had no context and absolutely no links to the original research from which it came? Receiving or sending information without context can not only be frustrating, but it also can cause confusion. Lack of context can create several undesirable results, and in today’s world, where information travels faster than ever thanks to the Internet, context is imperative, especially when it comes to business data.

At LBA Ware, I’ve had the pleasure of developing a business model that allows my team and I to build solutions specifically tailored to our clients’ needs. This flexibility enables me to stay creative and have time to think about the context in which my solutions are being deployed. For example, LBA Ware's flagship solution CompenSafe designed primarily to automatically calculate compensation for loan originators and other bonus-based employees…but that’s not all it can do.

Compensation is inherently tied to production volume, which, in turn, plays a key role in profitability. In organizations where compensation calculation and production tracking are bifurcated, it can be difficult to leverage these pieces of information to determine branch and staff profitability. Because CompenSafe imports your production data from your LOS to calculate compensation, the system can also quite easily aggregate this data and report profitability at both a branch and staff level.

By itself, this information is quite useful. To be truly powerful, however, profitability must be placed into context, and in this case, that context is in comparison to your competitors, particularly in highly competitive markets. Knowing where your performance falls among competitors offers several benefits, including:

  • Understand specifically what your competitive advantages are;
  • Understand the specifics of the marketplace where you hold that advantage;
  • Target your efforts on that marketplace, which should increase your return on your marketing investment and increase your sales yield;
  • Avoid becoming a commodity;
  • Get clarity on who your competitors really are; and
  • Design your communications plan to maximize your advantages.

While this functionality isn’t currently available in CompenSafe, putting context around the data the platform collects is an important next step in the system’s evolution. We look forward to the day (very soon!) when we can announce that this benchmarking data is available to all CompenSafe users. Until then, I leave you with the following thought:

I do not fear truth. I welcome it. But I wish all of my facts to be in their proper context.
—   Gordon B. Hinckley