Data-driven business

Use real-life numbers to improve your performance by 352%

by Tim Phillips
Data-driven business
Available as:
Pub Date: May 2016
Print ISBN: 9781908984609
Pages: 160

Every organisation likes to think it makes decisions based on evidence. Not just evidence, the best evidence. But the reality is that we still make a lot of decisions based on gut feel. We do things because they seem right.

But our gut misleads us. We are slaves to all sorts of biases that that we feel apply to other people, never to us. We cling to our beliefs too long, we listen too much to the people who shout loudest, we change our opinion based on how well information is presented, we overvalue quick results, we don’t plan for rare events, and we credit ourselves for being clever when we were just lucky.

When we trust our gut, we don’t follow the numbers: we don’t measure costs, because we are too busy measuring the benefits. We assume that X caused Y, but don’t measure whether it did. We don’t bother to find out the real situation before we make a decision, and we don’t compare what happens to what we planned.

There are two main reasons: many of us don’t know how to measure or look for the information we need; and most of us wouldn’t have the faintest idea what to do with the data even if it fell onto our desk.

So this book is about how to recognise when gut feel needs a helping hand, and how to read what the numbers tell you better than the next guy.

  • It’s about how to recognise when your decisions need more data.
  • It’s about how to look for the data you need. Some of it may be sitting there, waiting, and a lot of it is free.
  • It’s about how to make simple insights out of what you know already, by measuring or modelling it better.
  • It’s about how to avoid the basic errors that come from jumping to conclusions based on bad data or bad logic.
  • It’s about how the professionals are revolutionising what we can do with data, and how you can tap into it cheaply and quickly.

And it’s about how you can create a team that trusts data and acts on it at the right time.