How will you use that data?

How will you use that data?

One of the beauties of technology today is how easy it is to collect data. Add a field to your database, set up a survey, collect the data. Couldn't be easier, right?

But there are several trade-offs involved (as there always are!). One of those is that odds are good that whatever data point you choose to collect will likely need to be maintained over time (i.e., it's not a static piece of data, like date of birth, but a dynamic one like area of practice).

And so when you decide to collect a new piece of data, you should ask yourself several questions, including how will you collect the data, who is responsible for collecting it, and who is responsible for keeping it updated.

But here's the most important question of all: what will you DO with the data once you've collected it? Are you collecting it to learn more about your audience and thus change how you interact with them? Or is it "just interesting" data? What action will you take?

My rule of thumb is simple: If the data you want to collect doesn't give you the opportunity to change how you do things, then it's probably "just interesting" data and won't be worth the effort to collect.

So be wary of collecting new data. Just because it's easy to do doesn't mean you should do it.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Who do you trust?

January 31, 2019

Who Do You Trust I was reading an article recently about Warren Buffet’s “rules” for […]

Set benchmarks to measure progress

January 24, 2019

It’s impossible to measure progress if you don’t know your starting point. This sounds axiomatic, […]

You’ll make incorrect decisions. Acknowledge them and fix it.

January 17, 2019

A client of mine recently wrote the following to me: “It’s so hard to set […]

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to."

January 10, 2019

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except […]

Know Your Audience Before You Speak

December 20, 2018

This one may seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to anyone, whether it’s one person, […]

"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment."

December 13, 2018

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was […]

Signal-to-noise ratio

December 5, 2018

Signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio, formally used, applies to electricity and engineering, and refers to how […]

Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is […]

Garbage in, gospel out

November 22, 2018

Garbage in, gospel out We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the […]

Dramatic change does not happen overnight

November 15, 2018

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Like most things in life, dramatic change does not […]

Scroll to Top