Issue No. 7

August 22, 2013

Invisible Decisions – Part Three – Deadly Data

A very common trap in decision-making is thinking we have information when we have only data. The word people love to use now is analytics. This has an impressive sound but not necessarily value. Does data and analysis tell you anything meaningful? Does it inform decisions about your business? Is it worth the cost of gathering and analyzing? Done well, the answer to all is yes. Conducted to exercise fascination with data, no.

Recently, I conducted a survey for a client. We asked employees a series of questions to help us understand the culture. Side bar: A culture study (of which a survey may be a part) tells us if the organizational culture is consistent with future profitability.

The results were summed, averaged, compared, and ranked. Great, we have some charts now. Where does the greatest value come? In discussion with people who can put the results into context and create meaning out of the data and charts. My client has a number of people who were involved in reviewing the data with me and sharing it with employees. We challenged ourselves to answer the question “so what?”

Deciding what information is most useful to share takes judgment, experience and an eye on outcomes, not more data and analysis.

Get Up and Go

A just released booklet available on CD Consulting Group website

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© Constance Dierickx 2013. All Rights Reserved.