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The Value And Danger Of Data

Danger Of Data

How can the misuse of data lead to unintended outcomes, and why is it crucial to be intentional about data-driven decision-making, especially considering the danger of data?”

Everything in life is math in one way of another. Once you take math out of the equation, things break down really quickly.

Not enough hours and there’s not enough income. Not enough wood and you can’t finish a deck project.


Not enough planning and your goal will end up somewhere unexpected.

Data can be very valuable if it’s used to create an outcome and adjust course along the way to ensure you reach your destination. But it’s dangerous if you don’t use your data to course correct.

That’s the power of taking the thinking time to understand and define the leading indicators (actions / behaviors ) that will produce a lagging indicator (an outcome).

The problem most people wrestle with is chasing a goal.

They pick a goal and work hard toward it but they often never selected the measurable or clear goal.

Nor do they take the time to consider the right set of behaviors that are highly predictive to reaching an outcome.


Frequency and Effectiveness

If we look at safety for example, we start with the BBO(Behaviour Based Observation) frequency. We want to get everyone participating BUT that is not the outcome we are looking for in a strong safety program.

It’s just the beginning.

The real value comes when we review and adjust the effectiveness of those observations to deal with issues, to use the data to pivot our tool box discussions, to select our focus audit topics, and to direct our inspections.

First you just get your frequency (and consistency) right – the right level of BBO’s to predict the outcome.

Once you have a consistent frequency you can see the outcome, and your meetings are used to evaluate your effectiveness.


Self Auditing

But, here’s where people can start using data all wrong. They don’t self-audit their effectiveness.

They pick a goal and say, “I will just do my job without checking to see if what I’m doing is actually producing the desired result”.

You want to ask yourself: Am I measuring the right things AND am I using what I measure to self-audit and adjust my behaviors to be more effective at producing results?

This entire process requires many of Innovator’s intentional culture aspects to thrive.

We need to begin with a mindset that RESULTS MATTER and each of us must OWN IT.

We must recognize that goals and outcomes are the result of “SUCCESS STARTS WITH GREAT PLANNING”.

As my friend Kathy Kolbe says. “ The time to stop working is when my work is not working”

You can’t just focus on “doing your job” or “hitting a scoreboard” if the score is not moving.

These are tough conversations to have.

If you focus on frequency without adjusting for effectiveness – the only thing that is predictable is arriving at the wrong destination.


Danger Of Data: Getting Clear

Don’t just settle for having meetings or taking data. Use that data to find new and better ways to get the results you want to achieve. Old ways of achieving results can fall to new ones.

Define the actions and behaviors(leading indicators) that will produce the desired outcomes(lagging indicators). Use your data to redefine this as you work towards your goal.

Move the scoreboard in the right direction that benefits you or your company by understanding exactly what needs to be done to produce the desired results.

If you don’t use your data to find new and valuable ways of hitting your goals, that data isn’t doing you any good.


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