Data and Analysis in the Decision-Making Process

A colleague sent me an article today about big data and its role in the US elections and Brexit. (Read the article here)

It talks about combining psychometrics and social network information that was freely available on the internet so that campaigners can psychologically target people to create a specific voting outcome. What a scary thought!

In my mind, the article reinforced that there is power in data and the analysis of data. More importantly that decisions made, based on the data analysis, is actually where the true impact is felt.

These days everyone is talking about data being the currency of the digital economy, so how do we get there?

In any data and data analysis initiative the most important questions to keep in mind are:

What decisions are being made that change the way we work with our customers, empower our employees or change our business models? And is data informing these decisions?

An example of this is asking yourself, what has more value? A really horrible, massive, slow spreadsheet that is used every day by business to make decisions OR an elegantly designed dashboard that people hardly ever use or access? The answer is obvious, the spreadsheet!

Now, being a data and analytics professional, I believe the best option is an elegantly designed dashboard that is used every day to make decisions.

A fundamental part of making these business decisions is can the data be trusted? Again we can have a really elegant dashboard on untrustworthy data. It is meaningless and potentially dangerous. This is like putting lipstick on a pig, while the pig may look better, it is still a pig. Apologies to all the pig fans out there.

It is really important that care and attention be paid to the collection, validation and enriching of the data asset.

To make your data trustworthy you need to consider:
  • Where does the data come from, internal, external or blended, and is the source trusted?
  • Can you link data in a trustworthy manner? Bring consistency to any analysis that is done?
  • How resilient is your data to a changing environment? In terms of both longevity as well as being adaptive to new information and sources.
  • Is the data structured to make it easy to analyse for decision making?


In conclusion, these are the three thing that you need to remember:
  1. The data is the asset.
  2. The analysis is where value is added.
  3. And most importantly the decision is where real business impact is made.


Karabina has spent many years working in the data management and analytics area and have various options for you to consider and ways to start getting immediate value out of your data. Contact us to discuss your needs.   

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