Data is Everything, Except Useless Without Insights

In my learning plan, I set a goal to learn more about big data. It's not likely I'll go so far as to learn Hadoop; however, I do want to learn more about what big data really is and how I can use data to make better decisions in my work. 
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
Data is useless without insights,
but you gotta have the data.

I have just started reading Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. And so far so good. 

We learning and development pros too often make recommendations based on what we think is best, based on our experience and personal observations. Not to discount our experience, but if we don't start making recommendations based on evidence from data, we will be toast. 

This is not to say that our experience and interpretations of the data not not useful. They are. In fact, data is useless without insights, and insights come from people.

But you gotta have both. 

When I wrote my book two years ago about the five critical skills learning professionals need now, I did not included a chapter in big data. I should have. It should have been the first skill. Learning pros...seriously....get more analytical. Ask, "Where is the data on that?" Say, "Here is what I recommend and here is the data behind it."