Too much data, not enough information

Flicking through the pages of the Internet, I stumbled across this blog on The Harvard Business Review.

Workforce Analytics Isn’t as Scary as It Sounds – Tim Ringo

It shows some great tips on how to use workforce metrics in a real business situation, but I think the biggest take from the post for me was this comment:

“…we found that the enemy of actionable insights is too much data (and not enough information). The organizations that had the best grip on workforce analytics were the ones that focused down to a few key data points.”

Sometimes we can get caught up measuring too much. Whether it is our regular reporting, or analysing a business problem, we can drown ourselves in numbers and lose sight of the end target.

It is better to be succinct with our data and make sure that we can hone in on the nub of the problem. The use of more directed data can make analysing easier, and make reading the results a more simple process (and that can be the difference between your audience reading your report or someone else’s).

The best way to figure out which metrics to use is to ask yourself “does this line up with our business objectives?” or “does this answer the question that is being asked?”. If the answer is no, or maybe, or sort of, then perhaps it is not the measure to be used.


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