Companies of all sizes have access to large amounts of data, but selecting the right data, organizing it in a meaningful way and displaying it so relevant information is easily accessible can be a daunting task. This can be even more challenging from small to medium size businesses where access to an analyst might be limited.
Two recurring concerns heard from our small to mid-sized customers are: “are the tools and processes used to incorporate analytics effective and accurate?” and “will my data be compromised?” We find that these trepidations are usually based on data security concerns or prior experiences with analysis that may have resulted in inaccurate findings.
From experience, I can tell you that if data is used and presented correctly, data can be your biggest ally.
Going back to the title of this post, “Data does not lie. Or does it?” If a systematic approach is taken and the analyst lets the data “talk”, one can say that data does not lie.
Defining the objective, identifying the relevant information, then organizing and analyzing the data by utilizing the right tools and processes will prove to be an asset in the decision making.
That being said, time and time again, we all fall in the trap of being convinced we know the answer before even looking at the data.
When somebody starts with the promise of “I know what is going on” one is no longer analyzing data but instead looking for data to support one´s “truth”. By “falling in love” with what somebody believes is the answer, valuable flags and potential solutions can be missed. I am not pretending to imply that hypotheses are not welcome; on the contrary, a well-defined hypothesis through the use of a systematic approach can be proved or disproved within a specific confidence level.
Decisions are made every day, some of them more critical than others, but having the data easily accessible, well organized and presented in a relevant way allows business owners and executives to make solid, fact-based decisions in a timely manner.
What are your thoughts? What is a good strategy to get executives into analytics? Looking forward to hearing from you!