Information About The Book!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In nibh sapien, aliquet tincidunt fringilla at, feugiat quis enim. Cras consequat, ipsum et posuere venenatis, nulla massa mattis eros, sed varius turpis quam sit amet purus. Vestibulum vehicula consectetur congue. Sed facilisis nisi in lectus convallis, porttitor hendrerit est consequat. Vivamus hendrerit, ante sed ornare molestie, tortor lorem suscipit tortor, id sodales mauris metus quis purus. Nulla egestas tellus eu enim consectetur, sit amet sagittis nisl eleifend. Mauris laoreet venenatis sem, lacinia mollis augue mollis ac. Nulla a neque a justo dignissim feugiat. Mauris rhoncus eros sit amet augue dictum fringilla. Nunc dictum lobortis convallis.


Aenean vulputate urna est, ac sollicitudin enim vulputate et. Vestibulum tempus lacinia consequat. Donec posuere enim mi, vel lobortis erat pulvinar nec. Duis felis purus, adipiscing sed dolor at, volutpat sagittis magna. Sed imperdiet scelerisque mauris, vulputate dictum augue egestas sit amet. Nullam sit amet eros non purus fermentum dapibus ac a mi. Curabitur id viverra nibh. Donec scelerisque vulputate nunc, non interdum orci. Morbi ut quam eleifend, placerat ipsum eget, iaculis arcu. Curabitur blandit consequat nulla. Praesent non pellentesque neque. Duis tortor purus, dignissim sit amet sagittis egestas, feugiat nec elit. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nullam pellentesque lectus nec arcu ullamcorper, a vulputate augue semper. Duis auctor velit in nisl scelerisque consectetur. Sed ornare quam diam, at placerat risus tristique at.


Vivamus vel facilisis ante, vel porttitor metus. Sed eu congue nibh. Fusce non diam ut enim pretium pellentesque. Vivamus quis euismod quam, non aliquet risus. Etiam ornare lorem sit amet gravida eleifend. Cras quis nibh pretium, pretium turpis consectetur, lobortis leo. Phasellus sed vestibulum metus, id vestibulum odio. Donec quis nisl ante. Fusce tristique sagittis erat ut bibendum.

Do We Really Want Data-Driven Organizations?

Posted by on July 2, 2013

Big data, lots of data, a whole ton of data, super massive big data!

This seems to be what a lot of people are talking about lately; how to collect and leverage as much data as we can possibly get to make business decisions; aka building the data-driven organization; and it scares the hell out of me.

When I was in college I was always told by my economics and statistics professors that data can be deceiving.  In fact you can pretty much tell any story that you want with the same set of numbers and a bit of careful manipulation.  Nowadays we are getting data from every corner of the web both internally and internally; everything from social media platforms to enterprise collaboration applications to cloud storage providers to customer purchase information (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).  The amount of data that we get is getting bigger and bigger and it will never slow down; it will only get bigger.  So, naturally organizations are thinking of how they can collect and make the most sense of the data that they have access to from all over the web.

There is nothing wrong with leveraging data to make business decisions.  But that’s very different than having a data-driven organization.  A data-driven organization is one that puts information and data ahead of people and relies on data to tell us what to do and how to do it.  Right now that might not seem like a big deal but eventually we are going to start living our lives the way data tells us to; and at that point we’ve essentially given up what makes us human.

I love sci-fi books.  Actually the Foundation and I, Robot series by Isaac Asimov are probably my all time favorite science fiction books and they all deal with big-data in some way.  The Foundation series deals with a character by the name of Hari Seldon who develops something called psychohistory which is essentially a science that combines history, sociology, and mathematics to make predictions about the future as it pertains to the world (not individuals).  Clearly this Hari Seldon fellow was dealing with massive amounts of data as the fictional population at that time was far greater than 7 billion.  Long story short, Hari creates psychohistory, eventually dies and the “world” is essentially living out what they “think” they should be doing based on Hari’s predictions.  In other words the people are doing things because the data tells them to.

Sure, it’s a bit of a stretch to compare this fictitious novel with a data-driven organization but hopefully you can still see the point I’m getting at here.  Our organizations should always be people driven not data-driven.  I posted this on twitter and Ben Haines the now CIO of Box responded by saying, “people driven with data enabled decisions win win,” and I completely agree.

The challenge that we are going to face going forward is how to keep our organizations “people driven” without giving up too much control to data.  If we spend all of our time trying to build a data-driven organization then eventually we will have no need for managers or employees, just robots who do what the data tells them to.

We don’t need data driven organizations, we need people driven but data enabled organizations.

  • Hi Jacob, clearly starting with the end in mind (Covey) is key! Really “big-data” allows executives and employees to explore new opportunities, new perspectives, new markets, new customers, new ways to engage their community. It often results in change management process to make the “big-data” insights actionable within an organisation. However, “big-data” doesn’t change the core business of an organisation. It does allow for a more effective organisation.

    A colleague @adamson of mine recently summarised his view of the three big data’s big questions that must be answered.

    To summarize his three biggest big data questions are:
    1) What do you want to know – what is the prediction?
    2) What do you plan to do when you know the prediction, is it organisationally feasible?
    3) How do you intend to influence people towards the prediction and not away from it?

    Keep the contextual content coming Jacob!

    Here is the link: