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Insights derived from gathered data are inherently rooted in the past. Gathered data reflects what has already happened. Acting on these insights is inherently reactive. We are reacting to what had already happened.

In an fairly unchanging, operationalised environment, this can be useful for incremental improvements.

In a more dynamic situation, looking too much into the past can make it harder to take risks and innovate. The allure of data is its basis in reality and quantifiability. Trying to think outside the box, to act on gut-feel, to take leaps of faith are that much harder when we are weighed down by the anchor of “what has happened.” By the time the data set reflects a disruption in the system, the competitor responsible for that disruption is probably already entrenched.

Data is only one part of the decision and action process.

Data–>Insights and Vision both inform Strategy.

Strategy leads to actions, which in turn generate more Data.

Vision also needs to be refreshed and tweaked to balance the Data–>Insights. To prevent being caught up in reactive, past-facing decisions.