LIFESAVER: “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”Posted: November 3, 2016
Here’s the slide I keep coming back to and have done for months.
W. Edwards Deming was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant. His work has been acclaimed as being one of the key factors that led to the Japanese industrial boom from 1950 to 1960.
He is absolutely right. Without data you are just another person with an opinion.
During my career I’ve not always appreciated this. My career has been a struggle between thought and action. As a journalist, I was measured by action. Write the story, get the scoop. Long term planning was literally tomorrow.
But as I’m often now taking the bigger picture I see the value of data to help you calmly make decisions.
The problem with data is that it doesn’t kick the door down and demand you send out a press release. It’s dull. It’s a pile of numbers. Yet, what stories it can tell you if you spend long enough panning for it like a Klondike fontiersperson hunched over a pan rext to a running stream.
Good data can save a life.
It can tell you, as I heard today at the Association of Police Communicators conference, that abusive behaviour starts in the teenage years. So, comms has been targeted at teenagers that abusive relationships are not acceptable because the data said that’s when offenders start.
So shouldn’t you spend more time panning for data?