The human approach to data

The whole truth

At first glance, data and people are diametrically opposed. And so the title suggests a paradox. In a data-driven culture, how can there be room for a human approach? The answer is simple. Most data analytics firms forget that - while data doesn’t lie, it cannot tell the whole truth.

Because organizations are steered by people, operate with people-based processes and often offer products or services to people. And while these can be roughly quantified, emotion, the ability to make instinctive connections and creativity cannot. And so, data analytics often comes up short and disappoints. Unless you use the human approach to data analytics.

Data, strategy and people

Organizations are complex entities that are structured and managed to meet a need or pursue collective goals. They have management structures, relationships, roles and responsibilities. They are open systems that are affected by their environment. A lot of this can be quantified, and lots cannot. This also means that data is useful, but not for everything. Collective goals, relationships, responsibilities. These are purely human traits. And so, when creating plans – of any kind – the human angle needs to be taken into account.

Of course there are matters that need no more than quantification. Datawarehouses are filled with information on stock levels, financial results, resource usage, etc. These are basics. But as soon as it comes to determining strategy, which direction to take moving forward, basic data comes up short. As the strategic component in any decision increases, so must the human angle. The relationship. The emotion. The creativity. These must all be taken into account.

What does a human approach mean?

It seems so very obvious – analysis that takes people into account. Yet in practice it turns out to be quite tricky. As the strategic level of any decision increases in an organisation, so do the number of stakeholders. Yet when you combine the two, it’s magic.

Now as mentioned, the complexity of the organisational system involves many stakeholders, whose drive and fears need to be taken into account. Here is a list of some of the human perspectives that need to be taken into account from the people side.

Decisive Facts understands

Data is big business and growing day by day. Unfortunately, in recent years, countless small and not-so-small companies have jumped on the band wagon and are offering data services. It’s the famous data hype with which clients are promised the world. Yet there are very few who are able to bridge the gap between the worlds of data and people.

We have been in data for around 25 years – almost since the cradle of the industry. This experience is used to bridge that gap. In all our strategic projects we mix our profound understanding of modelling and analytics and our understanding of the human side of relationships. At each stage, we seek feedback and input from the relevant stakeholders to underpin the analytics. Finally, this delivers the whole truth and organisations are able to capitalise on the value of their data.

What next?

Take a leap of faith. Trust your human side. Get Decisive Facts. But first take a look at the diagram below to determine where you stand in terms of your data usage.

Once you have decided where you stand – answer the following question. Can we help you understand the hidden treasure in your data, can we help you improve a tool, or would you like some innovative insight into strategic analytics to deliver true competitive edge?

Whatever the case, we really know data analytics. And we know it’s more than just algorithms. We look forward to helping you.

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Decisive Facts