Get over your fear of data. Instead, master it, dominate it, and bend it to your will. Tame your data and it can be your ticket to stardom.

Tip #1: Focus on the story.

You’re probably the creative type and hate numbers, so forget the data itself and focus instead on the story that needs to be told with those numbers. Be creative in how you present the data; the last thing the world needs is more pie charts and bar charts. Keep it simple, like this:

Tip #2: Follow Avinash.

Read Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor and understanding those complex numbers will seem simple. He has a unique ability to make the complicated seem straightforward. (Avinash is our Measurement Maven of the Month for this issue; read about him here.)

Tip #3: Forget the tree, focus on the forest.

Individual data points don’t matter, what matters is advancing the mission or goals of your organization. So take a deep breath, think of the mission. Figure out what your CEO or leadership team really needs to learn from the data. Ignore the rest.

Tip #4: Think of your own job and personal objectives.

How can you use data to make your life easier?  Make a list of the stupid stuff that you get asked to do that your gut tells you is a waste of time. Now find the data to support that premise, and change your job/life.

Katie Paine is the Publisher of The Measurement of Advisor and CEO of Paine Publishing. She can be reached at kdpaine@painepublishing.comFollow her on Twitter @queenofmetrics.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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