Magdalena asks, “How much should our actions depend on what the numbers and indicators show us? Is there any space for what we feel works well, even if after a month or two, the results don’t prove that?”
There’s plenty of room. First, consider the data. Data must meet the 6C Framework for Useful Data:
When data fails to meet these conditions, experience and gut may be a better choice. Watch the video for full details.
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Magdalena asks, How much should our actions depend on what the numbers and indicators show us? Is there any space for what we feel works? Well, even after a month or two, the results don’t prove that as a really good question. It is a question of instinct versus data. When do you trust your gut? versus when do you rely on the data? And there have been a number of articles written about this. There’s a piece in Harvard Business Review not too long ago about how up to 50% eventual decisions in the C suite, our gut decisions that people will have the data and they’ll be data informed, but in the end, the decision is made by God. Why is this and Is this the right way to go? Well,
there is plenty of room for gut for experience for instinct if you will, because what that is, is that
Just accumulation of data at a personal level in business, where if you’ve got 20 years of experience in your industry, of course, you’re going to have a very different perspective than, say, the newest intern or coordinator who’s just copying and pasting data out of spreadsheets. And so there is value in that experience. More importantly, there are conditions that you need to meet with data in order for it to be useful for making decisions. And an awful lot of the time our data does not meet those conditions. So let’s go ahead and actually bring this up here.
These are the six conditions that data should meet the call the 60 framework of useful data and your data must meet these conditions. Otherwise, it’s going to fall apart and you shouldn’t make decisions on it. Number one, is it clean is it prepared and free of errors. So much data is not clean so much data is
corrupted, there’s all sorts of problems with it. And so you clean data is the first one
requirement. If your data is not clean, you can’t make decisions from it. The second easier data complete Mini, there’s no missing information. Anytime you load the data set, if you’re the first thing you do when you load that data set, you do exploratory data analysis. And in exploratory data analysis, the first thing I look for is missing values. Where did collection go wrong? It could be something as simple as, hey, our website was down for that day or something as complex and
ish issues like, Well, you know, the, this person didn’t report the date or the key that they forgot to key it in and stuff. So it is it complete. The third condition is, is the data comprehensive? does it cover the question being asked, and this is a a condition that we see a lot of, especially in social media marketing. We see it in finance to some degree, but
does the data answer the question being asked of it? So real simple question. Hey.
What is our social media program or what is our influencer program doing for us? And someone will
put a big pile of data on the table back the truck up, as we like to say around here and it and it’s all just like here’s the number of followers we have and stuff well followers as a part of that answer but there’s not a comprehensive answer it does not cover the spectrum of attribution analysis is only one tiny piece of you may have a lot of data that only answers 10% of the question. And so that your data has to be comprehensive, it must cover the spectrum of the answer that you’re trying to get. And the bigger the question is, the more likely it is that you’re going to have a very wide spectrum of of what that data is. So comprehensive is very important, especially when you’re talking about are we making a decision that is data driven
again, imagine you pulled up a an app the app on your phone and you said I want to drive from my house to my office and
The GPS app gave you 10% of the the road or 50% of the road. And and they just stopped. didn’t give any more data after that.
That’s not good. You can’t You can’t drive with half the map. I mean, you can, but it’s not going to go very well. So your data must be comprehensive forth, the data must be chosen. Well, this is the inverse of comprehensive in that
sometimes there’s too much data. Sometimes we just pour all the data on the desk, you’re like, Okay, well, here’s all the data we have. Well,
that’s not super useful. Choosing the data well means removing stuff that is irrelevant moving stuff that is unimportant. And this is where things like especially an attribution analysis and KPIs and metrics
we need to figure out what data actually matters a techniques like multiple linear regression and other statistical techniques, random forest etc. can help us figure out these are the data points to really pay attention to and these the ones that Okay, we’ll make sure that we have them
We need them but they’re probably not all that important if you don’t have that choice that choosing function as part of your your data preparation and loading
you’re going to end up with a lot of garbage in your analysis. A lot of stuff that you just it’s technically clean it’s technically complete it is part of the overall universe but it’s poorly chosen the fifth category is is the data credible? Was it collected in a valid way did somebody Miss key information did you did the person who was typing information where they drunk that day at work I hope not but
credibility of data truthfulness of data is really important you know it was the data in any way manipulated was the sample size wrong was the sample pool wrong this is especially important when you’re doing things like public opinion and and polls and surveys. You were the survey questions biased
If you don’t have credibility in your data, there’s an issue with web analytics. Think about as much as I love, love, love, love Google Analytics because it is sort of the one source of truth for a lot of what we do in the digital realm.
Is it credible to use Google Analytics to answer questions for which Google Analytics is not a great measure, like in store traffic like that, you will see people walking around unless you’re pushing that data into the application through third party integrations. It is not it is not a credible data source for offline, right. So understanding that even great tools and highly credible data sources in one domain may not be credible in other domains. And finally, and this is one that I think is really important that we overlook is the data calculable meaning can it be worked with Can Can people who are not data scientists work with the data and that means things like reporting and stuff have to be
For the layperson to us, so that they can, they can get analysis and insights out of the data and work with it within the limits of their skills. So that’s important. And this your data has to meet these six conditions in order for you to make data driven decisions if these conditions are not met,
or if if these conditions are, in some cases, very badly broken, then guess what, you are better off with instinct, you are better off with experiencing gut than you are with data because you you in this case, you’re making a decision with incorrect data really good example, say you’re driving along around your house or your where you live and and the GPS is saying, you know, go this way. Well, you know, from experience based on time of day based on how people behave and stuff that actually this is there’s another route that maybe is 30 seconds longer on paper, but really, I’ll save it five minutes.
Because the route that the computer chose data driven by incomplete, right, it was it doesn’t know that at this time of day, some monkey always parks in the middle of the road and the other the other house called the yard keeping truck parked along the side. And traffic just gets all fouled up. And so your experience on gut, which is really just nothing more than aggregated data that you’ve collected in your head overrides that same is true here. So there is absolutely room for what we feel works well, as long as our own data we’ve collected is sound and especially if the data that we’re working with doesn’t meet the 60s if you don’t check those boxes. Yeah, absolutely. Switch to instinct and gut because your data is not going to help you in a may actually harm you. So great question. This is part of the brand 2040 series. So you’ll see this on the brand 24 website as well. Thanks to them for providing these questions and the monitoring software that we use at Trust Insights as always.
Subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care
if you want help with your company’s data and analytics visit Trust Insights calm today and let us know how we can help you.
You might also enjoy:
- How to Set Your Public Speaking Fee
- The Evolution of the Data-Driven Company
- Best Practices for Public Speaking Pages
- How to Set Your Consultant Billing Rates
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers (2019 Edition)