For many organisations, data will be the largest untapped asset which they have within their organisation.
As we are producing and storing more data than ever before, the potential value of it is unprecedented.
For lots of individuals and teams however, their data doesn’t feel like an untapped wealth of knowledge, but rather overwhelming, confusing and burdensome. You know that it should create value for you so you collect more and more data but ironically the more you collect the less value it creates.
Just think about all of the data which your organisation is collecting right now. how much of it do you have? does it create value for you?
Does the data you collect within your organisation, create value you for you and your team?
Chances are that a lot of it is sat dormant, not being used. Perhaps it is sat over multiple different systems, you aren’t sure what you have or how to join any of it together. And with so much of it, where do you even start to analyse it?
It used to be that collecting and storing data was expensive and time intensive. You had to proactively identify what data you wanted to collect, and storing it for any length of time was expensive. As a result, people were very intentional with what they collected and kept.
Now it is the opposite. Your organisation probably collects a lot of data passively or with very little effort. For much of it, you might not have been aware that you were collecting or you didn’t really put that much time thinking about what or how you were going to collect it.
In addition, storage and processing of your data is getting cheaper so there is less of a need to go through and delete or consider what data you keep.
Whilst this is brilliant and opens up a world of opportunities, it can also lead to confusion, overwhelm and not making use of what you have. You are collecting a wealth of data, but it isn’t necessarily the right data, or the data you need to answer the pressing questions for your organisation.
Without intentional work and effort, you probably have data spread out everywhere. You don’t know what you have, and you struggle to combine it together. In addition, with so much data you probably find it challenging to identify what analysis to do and where to prioritise your resource for sorting through and turning your data into something valuable.
This is where the importance of intention comes into play. Data can be a valuable resource to your organisation, but it is unlikely to happen unless you approach it with intention and care. With intention you can:
- Identify what decisions or organisational issues need data to support you in;
- What data you would like to collect and how, so that you are collecting data which is right, not data that is easy;
- Only store the data you need, in a way which is easy to access and know what you have;
- Understand what analysis would generate the most value to you;
- Collect, store and analyse data in a way which is legal and ethical.
As a result, it is important that you and your team, spend some time working to identify why and how you are going to use the data you collect.
Data can be a valuable asset within your organisation. It can support you in delivering your organisation’s objective, help you reach more people and do so in a way which is cost effective. To create this value, it is important that your team collects and uses its data with intention and care. To set your intentions, work as a group to understand what questions need answering within your organisation, the data needed to answer these questions and how you can collect and store this data effectively. In this way, you can unlock the value of the data your organisation holds and deliver its potential.