Is it possible to be Data-Driven without having data?-EN

Is it possible to be Data-Driven without having data?-EN


Can we be Data Driven if we don’t have enough data to make data-driven decisions?
Definitely, yes.

In the same way that having access to all the data in the world does not necessarily make us Data Driven, not having data at our disposal to help us make decisions does not necessarily exclude us from being Data Driven.

A key aspect of developing a Data Driven mindset is the attitude we have when we have to make a decision for which we do not have all the information we would like.

Do we opt to go with our assumptions and intuitions, or do we try to get the data that will help us make a better decision?

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Transformation Sketch “Is it possible to be Data-Driven without having data?” | Illustrated by Andy Baraja

The search for such data may not be trivial.

On some occasions, it is likely that we have certain data sources at our disposal that we can turn to.

However, if the data is not easily accessible, or does not exist, we must be able to generate it if we want to make a better decision.

But be careful. This is not to say that we have to go into analysis paralysis.

In the current context, the world is not going to wait for us to have all the information available to make our decision about a product that we would like to launch on the market, for example.

On many occasions we will have to go forward relying more on our intuitions than on the data we do not have, but, as we have already said, the key is in our attitude and mindset to be proactive when it comes to getting them so that they help us quickly to pivot and continue iterating our product or service thanks to what we have learned.

And how can we articulate all this?

First of all, it is up to us to ask ourselves the question about the decision we want to make. Without additional information, what actions would we take, what would have to happen to make us think differently?

From there we must reflect on the information we need to be able to decide and ask ourselves the right questions:

  • What is the metric that we consider most relevant to the decision we want to make?

  • What are the factors on which this metric depends?

At this point is where we must ask ourselves the question of whether we have enough data to identify how these factors are related or whether, on the contrary, we will have to think about how to obtain them.

If we are fortunate enough to have the data, it is important that we pay attention to the following aspects before analyzing them:

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That the quality of the data is adequate, i.e., that it is reliable, consistent and helps us in the decision making process.

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Avoid falling into the “trap” of using data to support a decision that was already made beforehand based on our beliefs.

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Do not confuse correlation with causation. That two variables in our data move at the same time does not necessarily mean that one indicates the other.

f we don’t have the data, our Data Driven mindset comes into play to do everything in our power to get it and help us in the decision making process.

And what actions can we take?

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Depending on what we are looking for, our objectives and context, we can conduct different types of research to help us gather data or information to help us with the decision we want to make:

  • Market research: If we want to make decisions related to our business, product or service, market research will provide us with data on the size of the market, trends, customer preferences or how the competition is moving.
  • Surveys and interviews: First of all, we can design and conduct surveys that help us to collect, on the one hand, large volumes of quantitative data and, on the other hand, opinions, preferences, etc. from the people interested in our decision.

It can be extremely useful to drill down on the most relevant aspects we identify in the survey results through interviews, to help us better understand our customers’ perspective.

  • Secondary data analysis: There are numerous public data available from a variety of sources that could provide us with information relevant to our decision making. This secondary data can come from previous research, government reports, public databases or even information already available in our organization.
  • Researching success stories: If we are considering a specific approach or strategy that has been successful in other cases, we can analyze similar examples, extract lessons learned and identify patterns that will help us in our context.

We must always keep in mind that each situation is unique and that what worked in one case may not guarantee the same results in our own. That is why it is important to combine our research with other sources of information and analysis to inform our decision.

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As we have said before, sometimes we may not have all the information we would like to know if the decision we are going to take is the best one, but we need to take it and act, because the world is not going to wait for us.

In those cases, the smartest thing to do is to think of those actions as experiments.

Experimentation, as part of the scientific method, will help us, in a quick way, to find the certainties we need to validate if the decision we made was the right one or if on the contrary we will have to pivot.

If we are able to understand and interpret it as a systematic and iterative process where we make a decision, measure the impacts and results of that decision and learn from it for the next one, it will improve our ability to adapt to changes under a data-driven decision making approach.

If we are also able to translate this to the organizational level, the creation of a culture of experimentation will have a direct impact on the adoption of a Data Driven mindset.

daata driven
Is it possible to be Data-Driven without having data? | Illustrated by Andy Baraja

In short, to the question we asked ourselves at the beginning, whether we can be Data Driven if we do not have enough data to make decisions based on it, we could almost conclude that it does not matter if we have the data.

It is up to us to ask ourselves the right questions to help guide our decision and take the necessary actions to ensure that what we do makes sense and is supported by reliable, accurate and relevant data.

If you would like more information or support on the solutions we can offer you in the field of Data or need help to generate a Data Driven mindset, do not hesitate to visit our catalog or contact us so we can advise you.

If you would like more information about this and other solutions that we can offer you in the field of Data, do not hesitate to visit our catalog and contact us so that we can advise you.

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