A Thirst for Data

People tend to think we understand one another, but this assumption is often wrong; and in a world in which organizations increasingly span the globe, with a host of different cultures, it is more and more important to use data to double-check our beliefs.

And jumping to simplistic metrics, without taking the time to examine what we’re measuring or how we may be heading wrong, can just make things worse. In addition, many people are intimidated by data, or frustrated by its complexity, or not convinced it can help them. As a result, they ignore anything that’s not simple or familiar and go by their gut, or they focus on the wrong data or measure the wrong things. The result is bad decisions, and what’s frustrating is that these decisions could and should have been better.

You need to know when things are going well and when they are heading in the wrong direction. For this, you need data.

In this module, we’ll think broadly about data and measurement, about how the human brain (and emotions) make decisions, about how to more wisely define and measure success, what the implications are for an organization that gets it right or wrong and about how to improve these things – all to help you think about the organization you work in (or run) and how you can do it better.