The Data Driven culture component for startups

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Two years ago I’ve been invited by Lorena Suarez to be part of the mentors that help Wayra’s startups improve their analytics skills. At the beginning I was a little confused since I normally work with big companies that not only have an information caos but in several cases they don’t have a data driven culture, which is normally the biggest problem. When the information began to abound big companies started a chase to get the best scientist/Analysts to solve the problem. Later on they began to notice that the problem was not getting solved and the confusion turned no them.

I’ve mentioned several times an interesting report from IBM called “Global CMO’s Study” in which they pointed out that the biggest problem the CMOs where facing is the amount of data, “we are drowning in data”. The problem is not getting the better professionals but changing the company’s culture. Most of the biggest companies today were born in a time where information was very scarce, so is normal expecting that they don’t have the Data Driven Culture component into their culture DNA. The thing is that adding the data driven component to a current company culture is normally a work that takes time, a lot, that undoubtedly worth.

So as I was saying at the beginning, when Lorena Suarez called me with that idea I was little confused at the beginning but after hearing his idea everything became very clear. If we add the data driven component when they are building their culture then is gonna much more effective than doing it later. Indeed since information today is not as expensive as it use to be if those startups can take advantage of the information they can compete head to head with the industry leaders.

That was the project we begun two years ago with the people from Wayra and replied with other startups from different part of the world. The main important field in which we work is in:

Avoiding inferences: As mentioned in my book Meta Analytics, people tend to infer. You might say, but what’s wrong with infer? Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true. The problem is the “Assumed” word. The world is going very fast today and we have never time to have “known premises” so we just “asume” them. How? Basically we asume that any comment from a friend or an expert, note in a newspaper, post in a blog, tweet or a facebook post is information. TODAY NOBODY EVEN CARE THE METHODOLOGY WITH WHICH THE INFORMATION WAS GENERATED. Methodology is the most important thing because is the way we know if we can use or not that source. Are you going to make a decision based on a report with an uncertainty of 40%? Or even worst a source that you can’t even calculate the uncertainty? Of course not.

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However that’s exactly what people do today. If I see a post in facebook I don’t have time to analyse if it is correct or not, so basically I “believe” is true because “sounds” like it is true, or just don’t “believe” on it because sounds weird (to me).

Inferences are normally based on “Assumed” premises and that’s why it brings a lot of troubles. It brings trouble to all the decision makers not only entrepreneurs. So what we do is give them the tools to identify and avoid inferences. We are not even talking about processing or analysing information until now.

Top 5 inferences an investor/mentor hear from an entrepreneur during the first 5 minutes:

1. We don’t have competition/our product is unique.

2. People like / People don’t like.

3. Everybody knows that…

4. We can get this done in a week.

5. We have to improve our product/launch this features.

As you can see, with information all the above assumed premises can be solved.

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