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Top Ten Takeouts: Devil's in the Data

We all know we should be collecting data, the question is what data should you be collecting and how can you use it effectively to grow your business? We’ve gone from having no information to having so much that we don’t know what to do with it. We lack the skills to manipulate and interpret it to form predications that validate our intuitions.

Most of us think of it as a technological issue but it has more far reaching consequences including improving operations and customer relationships, creating better products and processes and delivering competitive intelligence.

We explored:
•    Identifying data relevant to your business
•    Sources we can collect data from – including online and offline
•    How to organise our data to identify correlations and causality
•    Scoring data & KPIs – how to identify metrics that matter
•    Data management tools

The Panellists:

Martin Cairney – LobsterPot Solutions
Katrina Read – IBM Cognitive Solutions
Dr Lucia Kelleher - PeopleData 
Esther Monks – REA Group
Moderator - Bec Kempster, Chair of the Churchill Club

Special thanks to our event partner LobsterPot Solutions… improving your data story.

Top Ten Takeouts

  1. Start with the business outcome first – what is the question we want to answer. Then select the technology and the identify where the data should come from
  2. Agree on standards for defining business metrics, for example – who is a customer
  3. Communication and education is key. If customer facing and delivery staff don’t know how to read data then they simply won’t use it
  4. Cognitive is the future of data processing. Check out IBM’s free tool, Watson
  5. Don’t look past Microsoft Excel. It’s cheap and very powerful for processing data
  6. As data models become more complex, user training in the model is critical, as is the feedback loop for continuous improvement. 
  7. A great source of data is social media. It’s free and provides an almost instant feedback loop
  8. It’s key to understand your stakeholder’s requirements and how they personally interpret data. Engage them by creating a data story that addresses their needs rather than your own.  
  9. Be consistent in the way the data is presented. Inconsistent presentation makes it difficult to compare data. 
  10. Ideally present users with a one-page summary which clearly depicts the story.


To read the full report from the event, become a Churchill Club member.