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That’s Not How Data Works

By Thomas Riley February 10, 2021

Data drives decisions of the worlds largest companies but in a world with constant data, how do you make sense of it? Host TC Riley, puts the world under the lens of data and analytics and explores current news, B2B trends, and popular topics.

Data is a tremendous asset. However, as a recent Harvard Business Article about the near future of work highlighted, using data inappropriately can delegitimize your entire argument.

Using data to support and drive decisions is good; but only if you do it in the right way — in fact, data used the wrong way is more dangerous than not using it at all.

Throughout the article, as is typical of HBR, great research data, mainly from Gartner, is used to support overall points. However, two specific points demonstrate a lack of data understanding and don’t connect to the central message and prediction.

Let’s take a look:

  1. 68% of employers added 1+ wellness benefit during pandemic, so companies will implement collective mental health days
  2. 33% more skills listed on job postings vs. 2017, so employees won’t focus on upskilling employees and instead will look to hire those skills or ‘rent employees’

Though host Thomas Riley uses this article for an example on this episode of Diving into Data, he said he sees the phenomenon everywhere, all the time.

The takeaway is this: don’t fall into the trap that the author did and think that quoting valid data automatically validates your argument. Data can provide so many insights and be so powerful for any organization, but only if you’re cautious about it and use it the right way.

“Data is really cool and can tell you a lot of really cool things. Just don’t let it confuse you into thinking things are there that aren’t really there,” he said.

Catch up on all episodes of Diving Into Data!

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