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It's all about Data

When raising funds or sitting in budget reviews to build Superbalist, data became our currency of trade for funding and strategy approval. The more powerful the data, the stronger we were. It proved time and again to be our savior, backing up ideas and strategy during boardroom discussions. These data points subsequently translated into points for monthly review, measuring our story in black and white. Gathering data over time became vital for comparison and building credibility.

With that said, I’ve had ideas flattened because I was unable to back them up with sufficient data, unable to show how a new idea could shift the needle for us. Additionally, I was not recording these data points correctly. Warning flag! I needed data to win proposals by shifting discussions from that of a subjective to objective nature. This became vital during budget time, and as we shifted from a startup to a corporate, as strategy discussions of a subjective nature will be won by someone more senior than yourself 9/10 times.

As you look at your or business what are the top 3-5 KPI data points you’re measuring? What are you not measuring that you should be? How are you going to collect this data? Be careful of falling into, a ‘this is what we’ve always done’ trap. Furthermore, what will the impact be on revenue and growth if you achieve these KPI data points. i.e. the, ‘so what’ question. Will you acquire, better yet maintain customers? Will you increase revenue? Will you produce a better product for customers? Will you allow staff to achieve more?

Some tips on building your data points:

  • Data points need to be clear and unbiased.

  • You need to understand how you arrived at these data points.

  • Can you visit these data points easily on a daily or weekly basis? Do you have the right tools such as BI software?

  • Can you visit these points without asking someone to prepare them for you?

  • Can you conduct your own investigation and from these points determine what you’d like your team to work on?

  • Do these data points back up your strategy?

In summary: The next time you have a new idea, propose it with relevant, unbiased data for an objective discussion.

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