Valid email addresses are required to post comments. If your comment is not posted, I will send you an email with an explanation.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coverting Data Into Information

This evening's Blog post on data and information will feature several quotes extracted from business books that have made a difference in my leadership career.

We'll look at the goal of converting data into informed instructional decisions - leveraging success with optimal learning experiences in the classroom.

First, from Reinventing Government by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler
The Power of Performance Measurement
* What gets measured gets done
* If you don't measure results, you can't tell success from  failure.
* If you can't see success, you can't reward it.
* If you can't reward success, you're probably rewarding failure.
* If you can't see success, you can't learn from it.
* If you can't recognize failure, you can't correct it.
* If you can demonstrate results, you can win public  support.

The list of advice provided above by Osborne and Gaebler offers a great starting point and platform for our efforts. Now, let's differentiate between data, which schools have in abundance, and information.

From The Marketing Imagination by Theodore Levitt

"The difference between data and information is that while data are crudely aggregated collections of raw facts, information represents the selective organization and imaginative interpretation of those facts. Information represents the imposition of order, categories, and ideas on the collected data."

We can begin the process of converting data into information by utilizing an expansive view on examining data, as expressed by Roy Rowan in his book, The Intuitive Manager ---
"Kaleidoscopic thinking is the ability to see new patterns in old phenomena. Take the set of existing fragments, twist them, and come up with an exciting new view."

-- rather than employing two ill-fated techniques (below) John Sculley, former CEO of Apple Computer, referenced in his book Odyssey,
"As the great mathematician Leonhard Euler said, "Science is what you do after you guess well."
and "SWAG = Scientific Wild Ass Guess."

Finally, from Shaping the Managerial Mind, by John E. Flaherty, we are cautioned to remember that

"The financial bottom line could be metaphorically compared to a sundial, which reveals the time of day only when the sun shines and gives no information on a cloudy day or at night."

No comments:

Post a Comment