Some managers boast they are poor with data, relying on gut feel and their ability to hide past poor decisions. They think this will excuse their incompetence in a key managerial skill.
Objective of collecting data
Why do managers waste time and money collecting data when they do not understand the objective, which is to better understand and make good decisions.
A science. Not a tradition, nor an historic fact.
With every result ask for the range or the confidence limits around the statistic
All measured quantities are uncertain; there will be gauge error, it will be a sample not a measure of everything; there is variability everywhere.
With every statistic provided, ensure the confidence limits arond it are known; it will have a large impact on your decisions.
Data not planned when it is collected will be dangerous
Before deciding which data to collect, it must be decided which questions need answering. Just looking at data which happens to be around (happenstance data) will give false results.
Accuracy & precision
We are judged on the precision of a process. We all understand the importance of process accuracy, but often the precision is ignored because it is confusing.
Customers are increasingly judging us on precision.