There is no such thing as too much data!

James StandenAnalytics, Data culture

I’ve heard people say things like “don’t get bogged down in all that data- sometimes you have to go with your gut” or “you’ve got Analysis Paralysis- too much data!”.

Let’s be clear on one thing- I believe there is such a thing as “Analysis paralysis” – but it’s never because you have too much data.

If you find yourself never making a decision yet crunching numbers like crazy, don’t blame the numbers.

The world is not a simple place. Unless all your customers are robots, chances are that much of the data you are trying to understand has human behavior behind it. We’re a complex bunch of critters us humans- not so easy to figure out whats going on.

But the solution isn’t less data.

The solution to figuring out people is usually people. People that know how to throw all those analytics plates in the air, make decisions as to when to dive into the data, when to summarize, when to segment, when to realize that the data just doesn’t have it, but some direction still needs to be given.

Give these people a good set of tools. Let them discover (and build) their own tools. Work with the community to learn, exchange and grow.

Learn about the business, learn to translate business questions into queries and data into insight.

But whatever you do, don’t start thinking you have too much data, and stop analyzing.

You need to know how to manage it, you need to be pragmatic, you need to understand that data isn’t the solution to everything and numbers are just a part of analysis. Skilled people are the key- but you also need to have the right expertise and tools.

If you get that, then there is no such thing as too much data. More data is better. How you use it defines how far you can go.