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Why Knowing Your DATA is The Beginning of All Wisdom

Data Pyramid

Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. The essence of this statement is that when you truly know and understand yourself and what makes you tick; you can harness the enormous power within you.

In order to grow and improve you must be able to effectively self-evaluate, identify your weaknesses and be prepared to undertake challenges.

In the same way when it comes to business, “Knowing your data is the beginning of all wisdom”.

There can be no doubt that, in the modern world data is King, and your business would be nothing without it. Quality business data increases productivity; increases your business security and compliance; and increases your profits. After all, you can have data without wisdom, but you can’t have wisdom without data!

The question is, how well do you know your data and are you using it to its full potential?

What is Data?

Before you can get to know your data, it’s important to understand what ‘it’ is. Put simply, data is a set of raw facts that, without processing, are pretty much meaningless to humans.

As you can see, those facts form the foundation stone of everything you know about your business because, after processing data it becomes information. From information comes knowledge and from knowledge, you gain wisdom. The wisdom to make informed decisions about any aspect of your business.

We talked about the DIKW Pyramid in one of our older blog articles – What is the Difference between Data & Information?

Data Evaluation

Step one to knowing your data is in evaluating what data you have and what it tells you. As with personal growth and self-evaluation, you need to take a brutally honest approach to this exercise in order to reap the rewards.

A good question to ask yourself at this point is:

Once processed, does your data sufficiently provide all the information needed by all, and any, teams within your business, without the need for extensive detective work?

If the answer is no, you have a problem. At some point in time, your data will be ignored, duplicated or lost.

Identify the Weaknesses

Security, compliance and accuracy are crucial to effective data management. Nothing will strike fear into your appointed Data Manager’s heart quite like the words ‘Data Breach’. But data weaknesses aren’t confined to the nightmare situation of a full-scale breach.

If your data management processes are weak, you will lose valuable sales leads, customer information will get lost, your staff will get frustrated and both your reputation and business bottom line will suffer.

Challenging the Status Quo

Nothing changes if nothing changes. So, if you’ve evaluated your data and established that there are weaknesses, you need to challenge the status quo.

It can be all too easy to jump to the conclusion that new systems will solve your problems. However, I’d urge you, to also take a moment and consider other possible root causes.

Whilst the technology used in your business plays a significant role in how you collect, manage, store and use data, there are other factors to consider, including;

  • Does your company culture support your desired outcomes, or do your objectives and targets drive undesirable behaviour?

If the performance of your staff is only assessed by volume or value of sales, processes that do not directly generate sales may not be followed consistently or robustly.

  • Do you need to invest in training to help your teams understand how poor practices can harm the business, and ultimately impact their job security?
  • Do your business processes support data quality? Making quality control and management ‘easy’ makes it more likely that it will be done to a high standard.

How DQ Global can Help?

Building sustainable and robust data management solutions can be challenging and may take you into a world that feels alien or complicated. That’s where DQ Global can help.

By working in partnership with you, we help you to effectively manage your data, in order that it becomes a rich source of valuable information to support your business growth and development. In turn, this puts you in the best possible position to make well-informed strategic decisions based on accurate information.

When you know your Data you have the beginning of all business wisdom.


Written by Martin Doyle

Martin is CEO and founder of DQ Global, a Data Quality Software company based in the UK. With an engineering background, Martin previously ran a CRM Software business. He has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years and has established himself as a Data Quality Improvement Evangelist and an industry expert.