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Data driven HR? Yes, you feel ready to do it now! You have invested time and effort into beefing up your skills and are fully motivated to get going. But at one of the first real life cases where data based decision making might apply, reality kicks in: you only have a small part of the data that you would need. Or, alternatively, you have a lot of data but it’s not complete or otherwise of less than perfect quality. What now? Give up? No way!
It’s not all or nothing – Build on what you have.
In most cases you don’t start at zero – maybe the data that is available doesn’t cover all areas of the business you’re interested in or maybe some of the data is not fully up to date.
In this case a good idea is to start by defining the must-have criteria for data to work for you – and then to group the available data according to the defined criteria. You will get three groups of data:
- Meets all criteria – ready to run
- Doesn’t meet all criteria but can be fixed
- Doesn’t meet all criteria and can’t be fixed
Samples are your friend
Even if there is no data documented about your topics of interest at all – don’t despair! You can work with representative samples and build your decision making from there. Just make sure to be fully transparent when talking to your audience so that they are aware of the source of your insights.
In order to identify samples that are truly representative for your full population, there are two elements that need to be taken into consideration: sample size and selection of individuals for the sample.
Want to hear more about how to deal with imperfect data?
There are many of your colleagues in the corporate world facing a similar situation. Join us in one of the upcoming “Live Specials” where we will have a highly interactive session on succeeding in a world with data hurdles. See you there!
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