Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GoodData Guest Blog: How Data Can Make You Smarter

Can data really make you smarter? The true answer to this question is, “It depends.” Here’s what I mean.
If by “smarter," we mean that someone has learned something, then the answer is, “Maybe.” The science of learning has become more and more clear about how people learn, and it has very little to do with the existence or use of data. 
However, if by “smarter,” we mean that by using data to make better decisions, which leads to higher performance, then the answer is, “Yes.” At least, in this case, data did make us appear smarter. After all, if a manager uses data to make a decision that improves sales or leads to a major cost savings or speeds up a process, then that manager is seen as smarter. 
At the very least, the act of using data to make an informed decision is a smart thing to do. But does this use of data make the manager smarter or was the manager smart to begin with? Whether data can make managers smarter is probably not the right question to ask. What matters is that a manager (or anyone for that matter) uses data to make informed decisions that improves performance in his or her organization.
Unfortunately, not enough organizations use data to make informed decisions, and they are suffering for it. 

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