Good data isn’t a substitute for thinking

I love that we now have more data to use to assist decision-making. We can make decisions now with a stronger basis in evidence than whim, and that can only be positive.

But I’ve also seen companies and leaders absolve themselves of thinking by hiding behind the data.

Congratulating each other on meeting KPIs, while the goals behind them remain unmet.

Making decisions because of a spreadsheet when every shred of their humanity said it was the wrong decision.

Deciding to use a (very abstract) spreadsheet to make decisions that should never have been made through a spreadsheet.

Complex decisions about people and about organisations cannot be completely delegated to data. We humans and our organisations are much more than that!

Use data, but don’t substitute it for thought. Forecasts and spreadsheets should inform your thinking, not replace it.

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