Data Driven — The meaning behind the buzz.

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Data is everywhere and we know it, just the fact that you are reading this post is generating data by itself like: how you got here, how long you read, the sentiment analysis of a comment and many other things.

We are accustomed to see new words created to accomodate new methods or to rebrand old ones, but that is all normal, as a new way of thinking about data got stablished then at the same time it created or lifted a culture which in turn created its own jargon.

But as the title suggest the purpose of this article is to talk about the meaning of the Data Driven term, What it is?, how to do it? and how not do it?.

The main reason for this article comes from the need of answering myself some of the questions related to the data jargon we have today, but enough of introduction lets jump to the point.

What does it mean to be data driven

A data driven organization is primarly an organization who harness the power of the data that it users or employees generates using it and the data that its target audience generates on the internet to create products or to add value to their product portfolio.

Having said that, we can say that a data driven organization is also a self aware organization in today’s business world.

How to be data driven

As the meaning suggest to be data driven its basically to gather data and extract information from it, but how to do it properly is where the catch is, because too much data can be as bad as too little data.

And also the way your decission making proccess include the data is where real benefit rely, and for that some sort of protocol is in order and a set of questions that must be asked before any data driven decision:

  • Is this data enough to take a decision?
  • Is this problem a real problem? or is it solution affordable enough?
  • Does my intuition suggest another way?

The reason why those questions are important is because data can find all kind of things, for example:

Lets say you run a data driven store and your customers post in social media how much they like certain things of the store and how they dislike others during their tour at the store.

When you start planning for your next remodeling then you know what points to focus on and you know what your customers like to see.

As an added bonus let’s say you have available their birthdays, you can plan for offers in the days of the most coinciding birthdays.

The knowledge of what problems to tackle and what questions to ask to that data is actually what sets apart the top performers among data driven organizations.

How not to be data driven

As in everything there is a wrong way to be data driven, lets say your customers post in social media how thirsty they get while shopping at your store, if you let that data drive you to build a cafeteria or a juice bar inside your store without it being in your store vision then maybe it was not a good way to do data driven decision making.

In that case maybe a discount coupon for a nearby juice bar or cafeteria is the way to go or maybe it doesn’t represents a big problem for your store and it can stay unnatended.

The trick here is direction, without a clear direction data can drive you off if you let it.


To wrap this up lets say that being data driven is the decision making based on supporting data, remembering that intuition, vision and logic should still play a role to give direction to our drive.

If you liked this article remember that the green heart down there shows it in quantifiable way.

If you liked this article remember that the green heart down there shows it in quantifiable way.

Thanks for reading