Data curiosity


I was reading an exciting story about two German brothers in their 60s, who are still expanding their companies and are investing in start-ups. They were interviewed recently and were asked what drives them. They had one word only:  Curiosity. I loved that response!

But a proverb may come to mind: “Curiosity kills the cat.” Never made the cat! Why? Because we are applying “data-analytics.” And should we really make a mistake, we know that this is part of the necessary learning exercise.

Every business understands the need to be data driven, but few have truly been able to establish a culture of deriving valuable insights from the data they collect. Sure, there’s more data than ever, but how do you act on that data in meaningful ways?

The key to creating a data-driven culture is making queries fast, easy, and intuitive to run. Driven by curiosity, you want an environment that can be ready fast and run queries at sub-second speeds. It’s also important to get as many employees involved in the process as possible to ensure you aren’t siloing insights in one department.

What really accelerates business growth is widespread data curiosity. In order to create that sort of environment, it’s important to have an inclusive solution so you don’t bottleneck or silo certain parts of the organization. Nothing drops analytics adoption rates like forcing someone to wait a long time for a report. Delay easily translates into missed opportunities.

Businesses as a whole are moving to a more agile, sprint-style methodology. Agile development has taken off because you’re able to experiment with what you can accomplish on short time cycles. Sometimes those sprints fail, but sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised by the results. An inclusive infrastructure makes agile analytics possible by reducing time-to-insight for everyone.

Making data-driven decisions routine

The more trustworthy your data is, the more data-driven your organization will become. It’s the same with data analysis. If you want your entire organization to be data driven, you need to make sure you are delivering trustworthy data. This doesn’t necessarily mean your data is perfect, but that as many people have access to the same view of the data as possible.

Nothing is perfect, and data certainly is never as clean as it should be, but a little transparency and data curiosity goes a long way. In fact, a smart approach is adopting an organization-wide mindset that all of your data and analytics should be audit-defensible.

Inclusive solutions allow your organization to give everyone access to data—and, importantly, the provenance of that data—which increases overall data quality, curiosity, and trust. Giving people access to data—and visibility into where it came from—leads to greater levels of engagement across the organization. All of a sudden, people can start to question or defend data and its interpretation with confidence. This makes your data more trustworthy, which in turn leads to greater levels of engagement, which in turn creates more trust. It’s a virtuous cycle—and one that replaces gut feelings with data.

And let’s fully understand that data is not a substitute for management—it is a tool that makes management better. By using data, managers can better understand risk, identify bottlenecks and replace low-value meetings with analysis of trends.

From the top-down, the emphasis should be on improvement, growth and increased self-awareness so that the whole organization can evolve.

Let’s turn the lights on with data, driven by curiosity! I wish you fun in data curiosity. Me being curious, feedback is appreciated; please contact me at

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