How Not to Listen a Story! Part 1

How to not listen!Today, during my morning commute, I observed a kid with her mom. The kid had lots of interesting stories; however, the mom seemed preoccupied with a lot of work stress, she was constantly on her Blackberry, missed the on-going stories, missed the reflections. I observed, and, as today, my thinking and reflecting mode was on! I realized many companies also act the same way like the preoccupied mom. In the rush to act fast to sustain the competitive edge, they miss many on-going stories (qualitative information).  When companies are stuck in the jungle of data, the static data stored in the CRM systems, survey feedbacks, the more dynamic behavioral survey data, the social media data, extracting meaningful information, stories and actionable insight is a challenge. And, then, I thought about how we miss to extract and understand relevant stories. 

Pretend/assume you already know it all (or I don’t want to hear it)

At this level, people within the companies stay content with the “satisfying” decision, and don’t care or try to optimize. They assume they already have all the relevant information about employees and customers, which are important to make at least a “satisfying” decision. They don’t bother to collect more facts and data. The assumptions are like data is not available or the data is there but its not good and good data is too expensive. They underestimate the importance of internet market research.

Show you don’t give it a thought (or I heard you, but don’t understand)

People within the company put efforts in collecting important demographic and behavioral data, take series of actions and invest. They probably understand the importance of internet market research; however, they never try to go at a distance from their actions, and assess the real impact. They have data, but they probably don’t look at it, and missed to get relevant information out of it. There is a lot of information hidden in the basic summary level data like mean median mode. Frequency reports and group related information and the visual representation can provide useful information that we don’t easily understand without it.

I will continue with more ways to miss the stories in the next post! Have you ever missed any important information or stories that had actionable insight? How did it happen? How are you working on it?
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