Why DATA made me cry.
Numbers used to scare me. A LOT.
Terms like Statistics, Metrics, Graphs.. anything that related to data and information made me freak out. WHY?
Firstly, it intimidated me. I didn't think I was smart enough to understand what it meant. I much preferred to have someone tell me the dot points. Secondly, I was afraid I was reading it incorrectly. Everyone else seems so confident! What if I made a decision based on this data, and I was wrong?!
The last few years I have changed my tune. I'm not a math or computer whiz, however have become much more confident navigating data in my professional life.
And it really comes down to these 4 things:
1) Ask a LOT of questions
Instead of worrying that you may not see what others do, allow your brain to work the way it is wired, utilising your own skillset. If someone sees something that you don't, that's great! Maybe you'll see something else and together you can make the best business decision at the time.
2) Mentally separate 'the data' and 'how the data is presented'
Human are creative and we have a LOT of fancy tools. We can pretty much make data look like anything we want. When you see a statistic, graph or any conclusions based off data, question the method and motives of who is presenting it.
3) Know you will fail
There's more data in the world than ever before! We have access to so many types of reports and information, it can be scary to make decisions when there's so much and many angles in which to see it. But the goal is to make the best choice we can at the time. Hiding from failure isn't the answer.
The more you use data and statistics in your professional tasks, the better you'll get. Much like putting off learning new technology, we can easily get lazy and not want to learn new tricks. However, the more experience you get with pulling various type of data for business purposes, the more comfortable you'll grow with using it to make decisions.
Now I LOVE data and get excited by the information at my fingertips!
The tough part is not getting distracted by the endless possibilities that data opens up for us!
What about you?
How you ever felt intimidated by data?
How do you handle making decisions when there's so much information?