One night this holiday season, my wife and I were wrapping gifts for our family. When a large pile of brightly colored packages sat beside each of us, we stood back to admire our handiwork. Kate’s packages were beautiful – crisply wrapped, carefully secured with beautiful ribbons that matched the wrapping paper, each package festooned with tidy little bows. My packages were technically covered (mostly) with wrapping paper and tape. But they didn’t really look…finished.
Data is key to getting things done. But data is just an indicator, not an objective. It’s our use of data that truly drives results.
“Expert” may be a level of status for which we strive, but many “experts” have a gift for complicating things. Take a recent client conversation, for example.
One team member positioned himself as an expert in data. He created a list of the top 37 data points he felt the company needed to measure. When asked for the weekly goal of each metric, the data expert shared two reasons weekly goals were very difficult to define:
- Much of the data was very difficult to access
- The weekly goal would likely change based on several factors
This client has struggled for months to understand what the health of their business was each week.