Data is becoming an increasingly important part of our personal lives, our businesses, and our work. Those of us who spend our days solving difficult problems will rely on this data as a tool to help us understand our world and do new things. But data should not drive us. It should be a signal from the wider world that we use to help answer questions and ask new ones. The insights must come from us.
The idea here is that we should use data as information, not as insight. Put another way, it’s not about the ingredients, it’s about the cook. Ingredients alone don’t make a meal (at least, not a good one). And even great recipes don’t come without a lot of experimentation and failed attempts by the people who create them. In the same way, the human part of the data pipeline is the most valuable part, and this is especially true for those of us in creative or innovative fields. For data to support truly creative or innovative outcomes, we must allow it to inform us of the facts so we can ask questions and experiment with the “adjacent possible” to discover the insights and potential that the raw data doesn’t provide. This is true for the following reasons:
While we as marketers worry about how to attribute first and last touch, we forget that pattern is the most important aspect that needs to be analyzed when it comes to uncovering conclusions about how customers buy.