Ask any senior leader whether they make decisions based on data or on intuition, and you’ll get a mixed response. In my experience, experienced leaders will talk about a mixture of data/insight and “gut” – a combination of hard facts and intuition. Often they’ll talk about how hard it is to get timely information from their systems and processes, and they’ll talk about how they can’t always trust the data that they receive. They might mention their frustration that they can’t get access to data quickly enough, that they are constantly looking in the ‘rear view mirror’ and they fear that the data they see is flawed.
There’s no doubt that making a decision on flawed, incomplete or misrepresented data or insight can be dangerous. Understandably, many organisations of all sizes – whether mid-size or multinational – are focussing on improving or implementing systems that provide timely and accurate data to business stakeholders. However, in this article I want to explore something that is rarely spoken about: The danger of forced data and I want to make the argument for data transparency and conviction transparency within organisations.