"We work purely data-driven." That's awesome. But does that guarantee you are making the right decisions?

Data is gold. However, it is not purified gold, which is what the hype would make you believe. Data is a raw material from which you can extract gold.

As with the purification process of gold, you must pick the right data points, parameters or KPIs. That is not an easy task, no matter how much technology you put against it.

A well-known example is time registration with a time clock. It measures with incredible precision when employees arrive and when they leave. Result: exact data in the purest form. You sort this data and fire the employees with the lowest registered hours. Well done, data-driven decision.

A couple of weeks later, you notice that customer complaints rise. You might just have fired your best employees!

Productivity, customer satisfaction, quality—those should have been the things you monitored. Yes, they are much harder to track. The most interesting KPIs are often the hardest to measure. However, why fool yourself by measuring something simple but irrelevant and then tell yourself, I've made a data-driven decision?

Take a minute, an hour, a day, to define the right KPIs; try to measure them. If that fails, use your gut feeling, but please, don't lie!