The famous PPDAC (Problem-Plan-Data-Analysis-Conclusion) framework lays out the milestones of a problem-driven approach.
As described by David Spiegelharter in his excellent book “Art of Statistics”, PPDAC cycle underscores that formal techniques of data analysis play only one part in the entire problem-solving life cycle. The cycle starts with fierce interrogation process: asking a lot of questions. This is where we elicit information. This is nothing new. Socratic method, established over 2,000 years ago, had at its core a focus on generating more questions than answers. Answers are not a stopping point but the beginning of further analysis. Relentless questioning helps us in framing the problem correctly. A famous approach is Sakichi Toyoda’s (founder of Toyota) “why questions” which argued that by asking why questions five times, the nature of the problem, as well as its solution, becomes clear.
To take the PPDAC paradigm one step further (in today’s ever rapidly evolving business environment), we have to consider how decision making (and action taking) is affected & further finetuned through rapid iteration of the previous three steps (data collection/analysis/conclusion). When yesterday’s decision/action is no longer serving the bottom line, going back to the questioning and reframing the problem and starting the PPDACA cycle all over again is the agility and adaptability required to stand out from competition.
This framework requires a blend of data literacy/intelligence, best of breed tool expertise for effective execution, human judgment but equally important a collective, high emotional intelligence that is at the foundation of the iterative process explained above.
This process requires different data-related profiles to work together: Data scientist, data engineer, data storyteller/analyst, data artist. There is architecture involved, processes/infrastructure to maintain, charts & graphs to produce, semantic layers to build, data stories to tell, and all this in an iterative, fast-pace operational flow where decisions from tiny to big are expected to come out of this factory.
Ensuring the organizational loop is closed and team has reached the working EI, will be a key differentiator in your journey to close the loop from your data to insights and to the right decisions/actions.
EVP, Country Leader North America – Ereteam