We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the structure or the conceptual framework around which you’re gathering data and how that guides your analysis and reporting techniques. If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ve probably received a lot of pertinent information through our past discussion. However, we haven’t spent enough time talking about the logistics of getting good data.
In the previous blogs, we talked about how that information can be either qualitative or quantitative. In this discussion, we cover how you can use the data available to you to make informed decisions.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Good data matters because it is the source of everything that is insightful and which provides value. Ultimately, this is about making better decisions as business professionals and getting the information we need to make those decisions.
Qualitative position information is information that is about discovery. It’s about understanding what we don’t know. It’s the range of thoughts, perspectives, approaches, and problem-solving that exists out in the world that we don’t have any clue about. We may have some assumptions, but we are not the people that we’re trying to better understand.
Therefore, it’s very difficult to know where they’re coming from. Before we can start to quantify things in a way that allows us to understand scope and magnitude, we’ve got to understand what those things are. And studying qualitative data is that discovery process.
Once we have completed the discovery process (or, if we know what we’re talking about) then you’ll find that the data or information that’s going to help you make better decisions is going to be quantitative. It’s going to be about validation.
(You can listen to the full episode of the podcast below.)
Quantitative data is going to be about validation, order of magnitude, and key drivers. What’s the cause and effect between two things? And how can that be quantified in a way that lets me understand its significance and its magnitude in the context of the decisions I’m trying to make?
That’s quantitative data. In other words, it’s about hard numbers on predefined variables that we can use to apply statistical analysis techniques. These techniques allow us to understand the significant variation between groupings, and when we have significant variation between groupings and those groupings are strategic in the sense that they’re actionable, then we’re able to make better decisions, with confidence, knowing that one direction is going to have this outcome versus another direction having that outcome. This is the validation quantitative data gives to us.
In Part Two, we will look at the different ways to get access to quantitative data.
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