In my role at FSI.co I deal with an overwhelming amount of data. To make it simpler, I’m going to focus on one segment of the data that I’ve been trying to get a grasp on so that I can help further our mission – to be known as the provider for polyurethane chemical systems.
I’m challenging our Digital Marketing Director to develop dashboards so the executive team can quickly see and digest how effective the marketing campaigns we run are. As I’ve been researching business intelligence further, I am beginning to understand that finding data points is often too easy, and throwing up random data on a dashboard lives in the primary stage of DATA.
Let’s back up here and explain the four stages of DIKW otherwise known as the Wisdom Hierarchy. This is a way of categorizing data into four distinct levels: Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom.
- Data is raw data that has not been organized or interpreted. For example, temperature readings in various regions.
- Information is data that has been categorized and organized according to certain criteria.
- Knowledge is “justified true belief”, as defined by Plato. It includes additional relational information such as correlations, causation, logic and conditions for the models to hold. This knowledge can then be put into actionable models which are a form of knowledge in themselves.
- Wisdom comes from being able to identify and apply this relevant knowledge in meaningful ways.
So how would all of this help us in this example of a dashboard I’m preparing to setup in the Marketing department?
I listened to a podcast recently where Forrester’s VP & Principal Analyst Ross Graber stated: “Our latest buying study showed us that on average buyers are going through 27 different motions before they make a successful purchasing decision.”
That statistic aligns with what I’ve been hearing for the last year or two. That 27 motions are not time boxed either. As an example, one of our chemical systems is such a large scale decision that it takes roughly 5 years to move the purchasing organization along the buyer’s journey from Awareness to Decision.
My goal with setting up the dashboard is to be able to identify these 27 interactions and see where we can help answer questions or minimize risks, fears, anxieties the business may have. How can we turn a 5 year decision into a 2 year decision?
That is where wisdom is in the DIKW hierarchy.