Quantifiable might not be complete — why this stress on data driven decisions!

Today’s firms are becoming technologically savvier by the day. Every little detail is being captured electronically. In this era of “data apparently being the new oil”, changemakers are milking every possible opportunity to make the most out of available resources. New softwares, analytics and dashboards are influencing every meeting and subsequent processes. Something that cannot be proven via a graph will not sell!

I see a pretty fundamental challenge in adopting this approach. Aren’t we narrowing down on our line of thought with this ambition of data centricity, letting intangibles and immeasurables slip out of the equation. Won’t it most certainly provide us with enormously skewed results?

You’re probably thinking of how to factor in these qualitative variables, which more often than not completely shift the paradigm of our results, into your meeting decks? Right! Well, I’d say there’s no easy fix to this conundrum. “Easy” here is not meant to refer to the difficulty of this pertinent issue, but implies the lack therein of available technology to solve the same. Pretty attached, aren’t we, to this interconnected IT world!

To address this, first and foremost, we’d want to be slightly detached from this whole tech ecosystem and let our imagination, emotions & intelligence speak. What this essentially means is forming an intrinsic relationship with all parties concerned, having the psychological tools and skills necessary to carry out behavioral investigations, derive possible outcomes and think of the complexities with every individual case. Like I said before, there’s no set handbook for this exercise, its dynamic in a sense. And this is because, the mind is vast, the possibilities innumerable.

What firms need therefore, is to leverage diverse perspectives and thought processes of multi-faceted individuals, and eke out a balance between quantitative and qualitative factors influencing the process. Easier said than done! A weighted approach might sound rational, but then again, isn’t that again leaning on the shoulder of ‘numero-tech’.

Its probably best thus to consider the qualitative aspect without having intentions to coalesce, compare and rank them going forward. Let it stand as is. Well, what’s the point then? There is one and its quintessential that we derive these conclusions using our nuanced understanding of individuality, and visualize these personalized derivatives, definitely not on our presentations, but rather through communication. Might not sound like breakthrough science, I’m not claiming that by any means. Whats wrong with having simplistic means to making an impact. None, right?

Viability in implementation is a concern, agreed. That being said, all we need is to keep building these deeper connections alongside being patient. There probably won’t be any visible short term quantifiable benefits, the rewards will only be comprehended by us in the long term, when our qualitative metrices start indirectly influencing quantitative points. Ah well, we came back to data, didn’t we?

Beginnings are humble, enlightenment awaits