I wish I’d known….

I recently shared a graphic from business management platform solution provider Domo.com that visually presented the results from it’s Data Never Sleeps 2017 findings which Forbes.com quoted as being 2.5 quintillion bites of data. 

One of the challenges facing anyone in a leadership role is understanding and interpreting the “big data” that technology can produce.  Whilst having more information at our fingertips is often presumed to be better than less, reality is if you can’t, or don’t know how to, analyse it, it really doesn’t matter.

I was doing some one on one coaching with an executive in an organisation on a spreadsheet.  He was reviewing a spreadsheet of data provided by one of his managers.  The problem was, as we worked our way through the formula he said, I understand what the formula is doing, but I can’t work out where the data is that this formula is “looking” at he couldn’t understand the formula and what is was “telling him”. 

He told me he had been looking at the same formula for a couple of years and had just been assuming it was right because he couldn’t work out how to find where the formula was.

I guided him to the bottom of his spreadsheet, where I asked him to right mouse click on a tab and choose Unhide.  The data he needed was on a worksheet that was hidden in his file.

That was easy, he said.  If it was so easy, why did it take a couple of years and someone external to show him the answer?

Realistically, he was afraid of asking someone else for fear of looking silly, but reality is he spent more time feeling silly over a two year period than feeling silly once.

He called in a member of his team and asked where to find the information in the formula and his team member said, if you can’t find it, just right click down the bottom and unhide the worksheet.

He turned to me and said I wish I had known this two years ago.

Reality is, we don’t know it all.  We are always learning.

Rather than feeling fearful of looking silly because you don’t know the answer to something, why not just ask the question.

A moment of feeling silly can save you weeks, months or in my executive’s case years, of not knowing.

What do you need to know that you wish you had known?

Donna Hanson is a productivity and technology speaker who works with managers and their teams to increase productivity, performance and profits with technology they use every day.  To find out how Donna can help your organisation with a conference presentation, workshop or in-house program, visit www.donnahanson.com.au

1 Domo Infographic – https://www.domo.com/learn/data-never-sleeps-6

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