How to Generate Value… One Data Set at a Time

The world is full of data and massive amounts of new data are being created every day. With so much data, the challenge has become one of discerning which sets of data will provide value. The answer to this question may be unique for every company and organization. Remember, it’s not the data itself that will provide value; it’s what you do with it.

I have been speaking and keynoting at conferences and corporate events for quite a few years and one of my most frequently quoted statements is as follows:

“The key to extracting value from analytics is a combination of focus and prioritization.”

This is a very significant point driven by the fact that so many companies seem lost in a sea of data and don’t know where to start. I, and many of my expert colleagues, all advise that you focus on the business questions that need to be answered. What is the question and what is it worth to your company to actually answer it? With this approach, you obtain both focus and prioritization.

You may also find that putting certain data sets “at the fingertips” of your employees will increase the speed and quality of their decision making. In these cases, the application of data is not for a one-time study but rather for daily use.

For these applications, it is important to determine the data needed to enable better decision making. Is it economic cost indices needed by your Purchasing team? Is it workforce information needed by your Human Resources team? I have no doubt that there are dozens of job roles within each company today that can be improved by providing employees with quick and easy access to information. The initial investigation of this is a project that can be run in any functional area. All you need is someone to lead the project and conduct the investigation into what data will be useful.

The data you need may be something you can use to speed up a process, save money, avoid a cost, improve the quality of your product / service, or improve your customer experience. Regardless of the functional area, there’s bound to be data that, when put in the hands of the employees, allows them to do their jobs better. Why not take advantage of that? It’s time to pause, think, decide, focus and execute on this idea.

Putting the RIGHT data in front of your people to ENABLE better decision making is where you will generate better outcomes.

Ready to put data at the fingertips of your employees?

Until next time,


Tracey Smith is an internationally recognized business author, speaker and analytics consultant. She is one of the most highly respected voices when it comes to business analytics and HR analytics. She is the author of multiple business books and hundreds of articles in a variety of publications. Tracey has worked with and advised organizations, both well-known and little-known, on how to use data analytics to impact the bottom line. If you would like to talk to Tracey about consulting work or speaking engagements, please visit  or contact Tracey Smith through LinkedIn.

Visit Tracey Smith’s Amazon Author Page