Don’t Put the Analysis Before the Hypothesis

The world has become overrun by buzzwords: Stacks of data are streamed to cloud-based data lakes where big-data infrastructure runs automated analytics to distill value. Buzzed yet? Too many businesses have become technology-oriented rather than problem-and-solution oriented. All the big data and infrastructure in the world is useless if you don’t have an application predicated on a clear hypothesis. First, frame your business problem and then map those needs to analysis techniques that offer you truly actionable information. When you take the time to formulate a well-conceived hypothesis, it is much easier to harness the data or design the experiment that proves or disproves your assumptions—and it becomes much clearer why you’re gathering all that data in the first place.

Tip by Riaan Brits, Principal at the Lean Methods Group. Adapted from Data Smart by John W. Foreman.