The mountain of data being generated and collected without a plan or any intention of using.

Data comes up in a lot on discussions these days often accompanied by some hand wringing.

Many companies are collecting data either as a bi-product of their day to day operations or more intentionally, however, few seem to have a clear plan on what to use it for.

Frequently the inspiration to business growth lies within this data and inspiration is the critical word here. Data for data’s sake just gives you charts and graphs, but data turned into stories about what people want, need, or actually find useful can trigger the rethinking of business and marketing approaches.

I’ve found that you need both logical, data driven thinkers and more unstructured thinkers to make the most of the information and the trick is to make the data available in formats that those very different kinds of thinkers can understand.

Currently data, if used at all, is about “optimizing” around a known idea, it becomes more powerful though when it provides a springboard for radical new ones.