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CVB #003: My love - hate relationship with data

CVB #003: My love - hate relationship with data

Let's start first with the 'hate' part of this story.

I was one of those kids who enjoyed maths when I had a great teacher. More often than not, I found that teachers made maths (and

yes, that included when I studied one subject in statistics at Uni) boring. Lacking any colour. All black and white.

I used to battle with Excel for the same reason. I was not too fond of the process of loading data as I couldn't see any of the colours. It was just numbers to me.

I quickly started to use the phrases, "I am more of a creative". "I enjoy human behaviours and emotions".

Numbers are the opposite of that. Or so I thought.

That's when my hate started to turn around

I started by getting curious.

Now, to be honest. It wasn't like a lovely, graceful shift into curiosity. It was more of a clunky, anxiety-riddled shift to curiosity.

The anxiety started around ten years ago when the term 'data-driven marketer' appeared in LinkedIn profiles and the jobs I was applying for.

And it was in the applying for one of those jobs I thought I better get cracking if I am going to be in a position to speak from a place of confidence.

Before the job interview, I read Measure What Matters by John Doerr.

When I was in my role as the digital and design team leader, a colleague gave me the chance to speak to a data scientist. He had won a competition and said, "this might mean more to you than me".

That's where curiosity kicked up a notch.

In that conversation, I saw the link between customer emotions and behaviours to data and a set of critical metrics.

Suddenly data became like a rainbow of opportunities.

He gave me advice that I still use today. So if you are starting your journey towards becoming a data-driven marketer, try these steps.

  1. Choose five metrics and don't overthink it too much, as you can add more later.
  2. Create a discipline by setting a time each week to record the data.
  3. Make a note of any outliers. Try to consider what might be happening. You may not know the answer, and that is ok.
  4. Do this consistently. Don't change the metrics but rather add more over time.
  5. Start to ask questions as you become more comfortable with the data.

We now have a complex reporting tool, but it all started with the first five metrics.

And we see the metrics as a heartbeat that enables us to keep our finger on the pulse of our changing and evolving customers.