What’s The Point Of Data?

With my love for movies, you may think I’m going to discuss the character Data from the Star Trek series today. You’d be wrong. That’s okay. Sometimes curveballs are thrown our way.

Instead, I want to talk about the actual data you’re collecting from your organization. This data can come from frontline employees, your ERP system, or customers.

Data flowing on a computer screen

Photo by Pietro Jeng on Unsplash

We tend to collect a lot of data. We think the more data we have, the better off we’ll be.

To an extent, this is true. Data is good to have.

But what is the point of data?

What’s The Point Of Data?

For there to be a point to the data, we must have a reasoning behind collecting the data. Here are three things to consider when collecting data. These things will also make data more valuable to your organization.

Consider the data you’re collecting:

What data are you collecting? How do you see this adding value to your organization? Is there another set of data you could be collecting that would be better?

Just because there’s data to be collected doesn’t mean it needs to be collected or even analyzed.

Find data that is relevant to what you want to improve upon. Relevant data could be the speed of processing paperwork, the number of clients you onboard, or something else that is relevant.

Make sure the data you’re collecting adds value, not clutter to what you want to discover.

Examine the data:

You’ve collected the data. The data is sitting in a file for you to analyze. Do you interpret it or leave it alone?

Far too often, we allow ourselves to put in the time and effort to collect the data only to let it linger in a computer folder collecting virtual dust. You know what I’m talking about, right?

There’s no point to data if you’re not using it to examine some aspect of your business.

Examine what you’ve collected or stop collecting.

Think about the cost:

Collecting data may be cheap for some information but extremely expensive for others. You have to think about the cost of collecting the data, analyzing the data, and storing the data.

These costs add up a lot quicker than you think.

You may soon be overwhelmed with a rising expense you thought would be offset by the information the data provided. This isn’t always true.

There’s a cost to data collection. Consider the cost before you take the leap.

The Point Of Data

There’s a point to data. When data is accurately and properly collected, you will see trends and information flows that weren’t available when you were brainstorming.

The point of data is to improve your business, become better personally, or to increase efficiencies.

Don’t lose sight of the point of data. Data is valuable as long as you’re collecting the right data, examining the data, and considering the cost behind the data.

If you’re aware of these three things, your data will have a point.

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