During last week’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Tim Washer asked forgiveness on stage from me and other analysts in the crowd for lambasting over-analysis of data as one of the top obstacles to creativity in business. The thing is, he didn’t have to apologize: he’s totally right.
The logical followup question then is, how do you know when you’re overanalyzing marketing data?
The answer to this comes from what I call the Marketing DAIS.
Data is the stuff.
Analysis tells you what happened.
Insights tell you why.
Strategy tells you what to do next.
You are overanalyzing when you keep going back for more data, and more data does not change the analysis substantially.
You are overanalyzing when you know what happened and you haven’t made progress on knowing why.
You are overanalyzing when you haven’t made the transition to what to do next.
That’s it in a nutshell. You are overanalyzing when you keep treading water, when you fail to move forward beyond the data and the story it tells you. We all love a good story, but if that’s all you ever do, then you’re overanalyzing.
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