Show me the data, SHOW ME THE DATA!!

Did anyone watch the Don Cheadle program House of Lies? I know it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I found the cat and mouse, client/consultant relationship fascinating.

Now I know shows like that have a certain amount of embellishing to do and tend to be exaggerated caricatures of the real thing however there was a term that stood out for me  in episode 1 – the data dump.

As described, it is the process by which consultants pour through their clients business information to really uncover the flaws (or in their case ‘opportunities’).

It made me wonder of how agencies go into this level of depth when taking a client on? Of course a client will usually have a brief which should outline in details what they want the agency to do. But if an agency partner were to ask to see all the data about about a company before deciding on what campaigns to run it takes the relationship to a whole new level. Simply put, it kind of  saying, show me your data first before I can tell you what campaign I can run for you and the impact it will have.

Personally I don’t think we are far from this scenario. I’m finding myself dealing with more and more organisations who are waking up to just how much data and information they have.

I’m currently reading a book called Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz. Amongst other areas, the book talks about finding startups concentrating on the one metric that matters (OMTM) and how as a startup you need to know what this is in order to survive but also not to go crazy about the multitude of other metrics you are faced with.  Although it’s written for startups, I highly recommend it for anyone involved in any time of data analysis (so basically anyone in comms right?). In a world where we have a tsunami of data to work though, it provides a refreshing approach to make sense of what it all means. For comms professionals, it provides a framework through which to tell the right story in order to achieve the right result and show (in a quantified manner) how that result has hit home.

Now if I can just find someone to shout “SHOW ME THE DATA” at Jerry Macguire style….