What’s the most important part of a successful project that hopes to deliver strategic business insights and who is the most important member of the team?
Its not the data, its not the tech stack, its not the scientist or the models they’re using. It’s the question asked, and the person asking it.
The person asking the question which starts a project, 9/10 wants to do something, or is leading the team who will. That something, is the only reason they’re engaging with you. Other than your winning personality of course.
If they achieve that thing, then by their definition the project will be a success. If they don’t, then it will be a failure. This is where a disconnect between data creators and consumers often comes about. You work hard to answer every question (so its a success by your definition) and yet your consumers still aren’t satisfied.
A picture of one of my analysts after being told his work “didnt help” despite a whole week of immense effort.
Chad toasting the data team efforts in helping him get the best villa in Cabo. He just couldnt do it without you…
So make sure to actually forget the question that a data consumer asks you in the first place. You don’t know yet if its the right one. Collect context. What is it this person wants to do? What positive change is it they want to see, for the organisation, for their team…and for themselves?
The question asked is the most important thing. It defines how you build an insight, which delivers an outcome. Your data consumers are the most important team member. They most often deliver and live the outcome. And in data & insight, outcomes are everything.
Now you might be asking why do I need a system to collect such simple information, and it’s a good question. Luckily I have another blog post which answers it. The crux is that its bonkers to not use a system to collect your insight requests, because there is so much to gain.
I hope you liked this blog post. I think a lot about how to manage data & insight projects from the human perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I know how important tech is to Data and Insight. I just believe that the way in which people work together is key.
I managed data & insight projects and teams for 15 years, and got pretty good at it. But like everyone, I failed and messed up a lot. This gave me a fair idea of the simple things we can all do to increase our chances of success.
My startup, Brijj, is here to help.