Humans are curious - when they are given some information the tendency is to ask more questions and dig deeper to determine why.
Powerful questions are a great technique that we advocate when businesses are using analysis and insight to make decisions. Check out our blog 'A powerful questioning technique to identify hidden opportunities' to learn more about this technique.
However, when is enough is good enough.
One of my favourite quotes sums this up.
‘Perfect is the enemy of good’ - Voltaire
This can be so true of analytic and insight projects where you are never content with the level of insight to be able to move forward into action.
It can be easy to get into a trap of ‘boiling the ocean’ asking further questions, what about this - what about that?
All nice to know and you may get to the perfect answer eventually - but how are you going to use the analysis and what difference are the extra questions going to make to your strategy or impact on decisions.
With all the hype around AI and Machine learning our expectations of what magic data is going to deliver is completely inflated, believing it’s got to be innovative and really clever.
This all puts a lot of pressure on any analytics project to meet those expectations.
But in reality, not all data and insight projects are going to (or need to in fact) change the world - especially if you are at the beginning of using data to drive strategic decision making.
But they should:
To tell you something new or confirm/reject a hypothesis to inform decisions.
Enable you to make an impact on your business either by driving more revenue or making things more efficient.
It can be easy to lose yourself in the process of finding out interesting things but if you can’t apply them then it might be time to say enough is enough.
We’ve worked with several clients over the last couple of years who have pages and pages of graphs and beautifully visualised data but are lacking direction or insight.
Analysis paralysis is very common and results in disappointment in the project, and no actionable change in the business.
Often less is more and sometimes a single prioritised insight can be the most useful to drive action, especially when resources are tight and technical capabilities may be limited.
Working recently with an SME who is hugely ambitious, with a million and one ideas of what they should be doing, but with very little knowledge about their customers or insight. It was tempting to answer everything they were asking but it would have created more confusion.
What we did was identify the most impactful piece of insight in which they should focus on for the next 6months.
The insight was so clear, it was obvious, but no-one had seen it. It was actionable, measurable and has delivered a significant commercial impact for our client.
We don’t believe in analysis for analysis sake or making things so complicated they can never be used. We do believe in insight that is going to move you forward as a business and create a data mindset in which to grow your business.
If you want to find out more about how we work - drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org