What is “Data Denial?” Data Denial the irrational belief that data isn’t really important to your business or that because you are an entrepreneur you instinctively know what to do to best affect your business at every turn.
Data surrounds us more and more. As founders we are told over and over that we need to be informed and data driven or at least data aware. The startup and entrepreneur world has proven what data can do for a team. It can help us iterate and pivot faster and smarter than ever before. The collection of data can help us raise capital, tell our story and build customer loyalty with our products. Data will save us from all sins forever and ever, amen.
There’s a good chance that as a founder you’re already convinced of your need to have access to and understand your data. You’ve probably already done your research and figured out exactly how you’re going to extract and display your data. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as implementing specific practices and software to make your data more accessible.
But incase you still aren’t convinced here are Outset’s 6 stages of Data Denial. You can walk yourself through these stages in order to find yourself on the other side of the datacasm, if that’s what you want. The choice is yours, but its a choice you need to make.
Step 1: Denial that data is important. You’re an entrepreneur; you use your gut & shoot from the hip. You know what matters without looking at any stinking numbers. You know, just like all the great entrepreneurs of your time. Like ummmm… what’s his name, from that one company.
Step 2: Anger that operating in this new startup world requires so much data for everyone involved. Stupid data, you already know what my customers want and need and how much revenue you have at any given moment. Why do you need to see that stuff over time? Seriously, you feel the trends in your bones.
Step 3: Bargaining with yourself, your team, your stakeholders on how often you will need to obtain and disseminate that data. Did you miss your numbers this quarter? Maybe, you’re not as instinctive as you thought you were. Maybe that feeling in your bones was the weather turning or the tornado of customers leaving because you had no clue what really mattered.
Step 4: Depression when you realize that the data you need is going to be as real time as possible and that obtaining it will not be as easy as you thought. How much is this going to cost you? Will you need to hire a data scientist to make sense of all this? Which platform is going to be best? Are SQL and MongoDB opposing armies on the other side of the world?
Step 5: Acceptance when you finally understand that there is nothing you can do to change the situation and that this data will help your business thrive. You’re ready to go now. You will spend whatever it takes to get the data in front of you and your team. Your company will be the best informed company in the industry. Margins to the wind, you’re informed now!
Step 6: Disbelief that you ever lived without data. A sense of wonder at how anyone really operates a business without knowing their numbers on a nightly basis. You now see the error of your ways and you have become a data evangelist. Well, to anyone who isn’t in direct competition, of course.
Next time you think you’ve got all the answers ask yourself if you’re suffering from some interim stage of data denial.