By Christopher J Frank
You are sitting in a windowless convention room. Twenty mins into the assembly the presenter ultimately makes it to slip 4 of a thirty - slide deck. a minimum of you could learn this one, in contrast to the others, that have been filled with numbers, graphs and charts. You go searching, pondering if someone else is following the presentation.Just approximately all people nowadays suffers from details overload the 24/7 explosion from our desktops, smartphones, media, colleagues, and buyers. details is key to creating clever judgements, yet often, it easily overwhelms us. it truly is like attempting to drink from a fireplace hose.The query isn't really easy methods to cease all these e-mails, conferences, convention calls, and fats stories; that is very unlikely. The query is what to do with them. How do you discover the really crucial nuggets of data and use them with confidence?The resolution proposed via Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone sounds deceptively uncomplicated: ask the perfect questions on the correct time. no matter what box you are in, asking smarter questions will disclose you to new details, aspect you to connections among doubtless unrelated proof, and open new avenues of debate along with your colleagues.The authors clarify the seven questions that may assist you convey an incredible- photograph standpoint to difficulties that frequently depart others buried in inappropriate info. and so they exhibit via real-life case stories- together with dealer Joe's, Starbucks, Kodak, Microsoft, iRobot, and IBM-how their approach may have a dramatic impression. it truly is attainable to transform the hearth hose of knowledge into necessary insights.Consider a nonbusiness instance: the 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption that despatched a huge ash cloud towards Europe. Tens of hundreds of thousands of flights have been canceled and 5 million passengers stranded, resulting in billions in financial losses. Europe's top scientists generated oceans of information and rigorously modeled the cloud's dispersion trend. yet not anyone may solution the basic query: used to be the focus of volcanic ash within the air adequate to break a jet engine? with out that key resolution, all of the conscientiously amassed evidence have been dead to the choice makers.Once you undertake the seven questions, you are going to begin having extra efficient brainstorming periods. you will solution serious questions speedier and locate unforeseen strategies to special difficulties. and you can get well at speaking in your colleagues with extra readability and concentration, turning down the fireplace hose that folks need to deal with.
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Additional resources for Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information (Portfolio)
No one else in the room has asked a single question, and the more you think about it, the more you think it’s not such a good idea. Everyone else must get it, so what’s the point in letting them know that you don’t? Besides, it might lead to a lengthy debate, with no obvious answer, and you’ve got work to do. Finally, someone calls for a “time check,” and you and the other five people left around the table scramble to identify as many action items as you can in a vain attempt to show that the meeting had some purpose.
We must have considered hundreds of questions before settling on the short list that forms the backbone of this book. And although each question asks for a different set of facts, a common thread connects them all: the search for the one critical piece of information you need to move the project, or your business, forward. Toward that end, the questions are designed to let you know what the customer really wants, what the end user will buy, and how you’ll provide it. And once you’ve answered those questions, the Fire Hose approach will also enable your team to act.
Why do you collect and analyze data? For two main reasons. You collect and analyze data to monitor your company’s performance—in absolute terms, against the market’s performance, and with respect to your competitors. But just as important, you gather and interpret data to understand your customers’ needs, wants, and behavior (again, in absolute terms, relative terms, and competitive terms). Customer-based data is a recording of sorts, meant to capture the voice of your customer—or sometimes the voices of all the customers in the segment.