There are endless ways to leverage data to help people change their perspectives and behaviors to run better businesses. Some strategies work better than others though.
This is my entire philosophy on weaponizing, monetizing, and getting people to take action on data condensed into two minutes. Doug also got pretty fired up. He has some tremendous insights I am sure you will enjoy
The Question: What is the best way to present data and insights so people will clearly understand it and take action?
Data tends to be an uninteresting, dry topic to most. Getting people to listen to the data can be exceptionally hard. This is especially true when new insights challenge preconceived notions and/or preferred courses of action. Why? Nobody likes change.
One powerful way to combat this: know what your audience cares about. The best way to find that out? Ask them.
The challenge with asking them is sometimes what we say isn’t exactly what we mean. We may say we care about A,B, and C, but D and E may also matter, even though we didn’t articulate them.
A strategy to address this common challenge? Ask questions.
The 5 Question Model
I use is the 5 question framework to get to the core of what my customers care about. It is exceptionally simple and can be used by anyone.
First, if you could answer ANY 5 question about your business, what questions would you ask? Assume perfect and complete information is available and you could get an accurate answer to your question.
Then, and this is where the magic is, once you had those answers, what would you do differently?
Many times, business leaders don’t have an answer to #2.
This is an exceptionally simple and powerful thought exercise and measuring stick to see if an organization is REALLY ready for the change data and analytics can bring with it…….IF the organization is willing to take the necessary steps.
The Power Of Story
There is immense power in crafting a story that matters to your audience: the business, your executive team, board members, etc. It requires context and empathy to be effective.
Combining context and empathy with storytelling allows us to create a narrative that resonates with our audience and helps drive them to take action. A board or leadership team will care about vastly different things than an FP&A team.
Story makes it about more than just the facts. It engages with our audience on an emotional level. Fact is, emotion plays a critical role in driving change. Fear, one of the most powerful emotions we have, frequently halts change of any kind, even if that change is better for us.
At the executive leadership and board level, the story shouldn’t be about the tools and tech. It needs to be about how we drive can use data and tech to drive changes in perspectives, evolve philosophies on data, and help business leaders achieve the vision they have for a business.
Leveraging the power of story puts us in a position to deliver a powerful message that resonates with our audience. Consequently, they will be more likely to trust us, believe us, and take action.
I really liked Doug’s take on this question. He attacked it with passion!
* Too many companies are spending too much time building pretty pie charts, bouncing bar charts and dancing dashboards
* Far too much time and resources being hindsight orientated, not enough time being forward looking.
* Diagnostic, predictive, or prescriptive is what they need to be focusing on. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it more powerful? Yes. Exponentially more value comes from the forward looking analytics.
Watch the video above to hear everything Doug had to say.
What Are Your 5 Questions?
If you could answer any 5 questions about your business, what would you ask? I’m willing to guess all of them will be forward looking questions.