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Being “Data-Driven” Is Not Enough

I’m guilty of calling myself “data-driven” often and sometimes I hate it because again a good thing has become cliche. Just search through LinkedIn, everyone in business now calls themselves “data-driven”. The reality is that in one way or another, we are all data-driven. Seriously, how foolish would it be to be given credible information and not use it to your advantage? Well, if the answer isn’t obvious it would be quite silly. In fact, life in general is data-driven. Think about it for a moment, if you’ve ever opened up a Consumer Reports magazine prior to buying a product, you are data-driven. That’s life, and that’s what makes us human. We find that life is easier when we correlate known information to benefit us.

So, since we’re all data-driven is it worth even calling oneself such? However, data alone isn’t enough to make good decisions. Think I’m wrong? Give a third grader an investor prospectus from Coca-Cola and ask them whether or not the stock is a sound long-term investment. All of the data in the world is worthless if one cannot understand it and correlate it to a task at hand. So, if you’re like me a “data-driven” professional make sure that you can elaborate on your definition of this term. I predict that hiring managers and executives will want to know how it is that you define “data-driven”.

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