Do we need more data?

We do strategic work which requires research and data to support our strategic thinking.  At first, the more data the better.  It feels responsible. Makes you feel grounded. But you can reach a point where you are drowning in data. The question at this point becomes, Is the project about collecting more and more data or is it about developing a powerful strategy.

We love this quote from David Ogilvy,

People use statistics as a drunkard uses a lamppost – for support rather than illumination.

Too much data feels like you just want to protect yourself, armored with data. It’s rarely bold thinking. It’s a timid approach and often not as actionable. Too much data can also lead to confusion. You’re not organizing your strategic thinking… your focused on presenting data. It’s backwards.

Do we need data? Yes! … but we also need to develop a passionate point of view and strategic thinking that inspires and illuminates our decisions. That’s what we’re hired for – insightful passion. David Ogilvy had it right.