Very, very few companies know what questions to ask of their data.
Mike Greenfield “Your Metrics Are Bad and Why ‘Data Driven’ Isn’t Enough”
And that’s a big problem: I’ve long felt that having bad metrics is often worse than having no metrics at all.
If I were trying to gauge a basketball player’s skill level, my top preference would be to use a well-structured metric incorporating an entire season’s worth of extremely detailed, second-by-second data, looking at his impact on all aspects of the game. My second choice would be a good coach’s purely qualitative assessment of his skill. And my last choice would be a simple stat — say points per game — that was state of the art in 1950.
Today, most businesses are using the equivalents of the coach’s qualitative assessment and points per game to make their decisions. And quite frequently, “data driven” effectively means “we’re using points per game.”