B L O G
More Data, More Insight?
by Kim McCarten
Start with the problem, then look at available tools.
BIG data. Twitter. Instagram stories. Pinterest. Facebook ads. Facebook likes.
It all seems so legitimate and sciency (dare I say data driven).
But to quote Wanda Sykes, I'm tired of hearing about them. :)
"Learn this new time management app."
"Implement more tracking on your website."
"Get a dashboard for…something!"
All the cool kids have dashboards.
There's something frantic about it all. #FOMO driven perhaps by the wrenching changes in our economy or the pace of change. Are good business decisions made in this mindset? Are good investments of time and money made in a reactionary mode? It seems everything is Need! It! Now! (Feed! It! Now! for social channels.)
More data, more variables in play. The more variables to consider, the harder (I think) it is to determine what might be driving some trend or other.
Amazon needs big data…because they're Amazon. But it's not really big data for them, it's proportionate data. Proportionate is probably a better way for firms to consider data.
With regard to Facebook and other social channels: do random people, who may or may not be prospective customers, approving and sharing your latest post, are those activities of real value to your business? Consider how much value your business can get from a social channel before you set one up and work hard to feed it.
People still think there's something magical about data and technology, but these are just tools, often useful, for specific jobs.
It's important to start with the problem or job to be done…then choose a tool.
Hype contains a lot of bullshit.
When there's a lot of hype, figure about three-quarters is bullshit and maybe one-quarter is valuable (or 80/20 if you like the Pareto Principle)…so time and money is spent accordingly.
One-quarter usefulness is not nothing, but remember how much hype came with it.
It usually comes back to doing the essentials well.
'They' may come up with a new name for something old, or a new package, but it seems to me that focusing when a business focuses on getting the essentials right (answering your phone, making your website clear, following up in a timely manner) that is what people want and need from anyone they do business with.
Have any of your New Shiny Things lived up to expectations?