There is a famous quote by W. Edwards Deming that goes something like this, “In God we trust, everybody else bring data.” Deming was an American engineer that is often credited as a leading force for the post-World War II Japanese economic recovery. He believed in total quality management focused on improvements informed by data. The word, “informed” is important.
There is art and science to decision making. If your organization is all “art” and no “science,” you may be very creative but you may not scale or operational survive. If your organization is all “science” and no “art,” your decision may be technically correct but made out of context.
Data-driven organizations use data, data science, and High Impact Questions (“HIQ”) to gain competitive advantages over their competition. In fact, Forrester, a leading market analyst, predicts that those who use advanced analytics will amass $1.2 trillion in revenue greater their competitors. Yep, that’s “trillion.”
The HIQ is the starting point. What question are you trying to answer? This is harder than it sounds and worth significant time to answer. It is the tree that bears fruit for years to come. For example, if you only try to answer the question, “how much of a discount do I need to give to my “customer” to drive them to “buy” (or enroll, etc.)?,” then you are likely to miss important alternatives to money that may be driving the customers’ behaviors. The best “HIQ” in this regard is “what is the likelihood that a prospect will ‘buy.’” The buying decision could be significantly influenced by money or a marketing program or something else that is uncovered when answering the HIQ.
Thus, to be data-driven is first to be HIQ-driven.
Next, ask your local data scientist what type of predictive model is best to use and then begin to fill that predictive engine with fuel, i.e., data. The outcomes and reasons “why?” behind the prospects’ behaviors will inform your strategy and your next action.
If you don’t have the resources to build a sustainable predictive platform, talk to our friendly people at Othot. We can help you out.
Andy is one of Othot's Cofounders and a passionate advocate for data and analytics in higher education. He's a mentor, a teacher (Andy is an Adjunct Professor of Business at the University of Pittsburgh), and enjoys hanging out with his family, making handcrafted cocktails, and running.