"Yeah, so about those numbers we gave you ..."
Data can be a bit of a trickster, a little good or a little bad. And, sometimes a little bit of both. Data can also be used in a variety of ways. In some instances, the same exact data set can be painted positive or negative. Last, but certainly not least ... even the most basic of data can be confused.
Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest that you become a data scientist. Yet, there is one aspect of data science that you need to champion. That aspect is data accuracy.
In today's increasingly data-driven world, data accuracy impacts your ability to use any data to your advantage.
Years ago, a professional basketball team approached me about providing them with marketing services. The team did some research and found out that I had a knack for selling out events.
During an initial assessment we identified a potentially huge marketing asset. The asset came in the form of the basketball team's previous customer database. The team's marketing manager put their customer database at around 8,000 people. One of the team owners, speculated that their database was much more substantial.
When I pressed for additional customer database details, I was told "we'll get back to you."
A few weeks later, I received a telephone call from the team regarding my database questions. After doing some digging, the customer database wasn't quite 8,000 people. It was closer to about 600! What happened? Several people on the team didn't have a firm grasp on customer data, including ownership.
Ultimately, I turned down the offer to work with the basketball team. The team had great people, but there were numerous places where there were severe issues with data accuracy.
On a sobering note. Had the team become a client, the result would have been a complete failure on my part. All because of inaccurate data!
Remember, data can span everything from your customer database to the tracking of visitors to your website. Where data accuracy becomes quintessential is tracking the effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns (hint, hint).
Even if you need to hire someone, make sure you buckle your data accuracy down. It needs to be as accurate and pristine as possible. If not, you could be chasing opportunities that don't exist. Or worse, spending money on marketing or advertising that does absolutely nothing for you!
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