What we’ve been learning: Delivering Data-driven Insights

Last week I attended a 2 day course at Victoria University Business School. The course was for “data professionals tasked with delivering insights from data to others” which sums up what I do very well! It was a high level course that made you critically examine all the steps in delivering data, from the initial request, the perspectives of the audience, how to present it clearly and identifying potential sources of misunderstanding or miscommunication.

Very ably presented by Mary Ellen Gordon, the experience gave me some excellent ideas that I can share with my clients. Particularly useful was the practical ideas on how to exactly determine what someone really wants when they ask you to deliver them some data. Other ideas I got from the course were:

  • Formalising the process for clients requesting data improves the quality of the result
  • Presenting the client with a dashboard using dummy data is a good way to check you are on the same page
  • Ask for feedback on how your data is being used, this is a good way to improve what you are delivering
  • Offer interpretations of the data, having a target and showing +/- of it is a basic example of this 
  • Before delivering data do a self check and peer check; after delivering it do a user check and usage check

The course was structured round the 4 areas shown below, Audience, Objective, Execution, & Evaluation. I found that while I was experienced in defining the Objective and Executing it, considering the Audience and Evaluating it afterwards improved the quality of what I was giving to my clients. 

What learning experiences have you had recently?