Joe Guerra

March 18, 2021

Data-informed over Data-driven

You see "data-informed" and "data-driven" terms on websites, job descriptions, and business communications.

I invite you to reflect on these terms yourself, especially if you run a business, work on a team, or are joining a new team.

I believe being data-informed is better than being data-driven.

Data-informed 🤔 means data is one of many inputs to make a decision. Data-informed considers qualitative and quantitative elements. "Informed" is more wholistic and thoughtful.

Data-driven 📈 means that data is the strongest, or only, input for a decision. "Driven" is a direct, singular word. It could means: do what it takes to meet a metric. Or, we decided this because we're data-driven. Yikes.

So what compromises might you (or a company) make to be data-driven? Will you compromise quality, user experience, timing, sustainability, wellbeing, profit, honesty, integrity, morals, or ethics? Sometimes decision inputs are at odds, like profits and sustainability. Being data-driven can override this consideration.

Or will you be data-informed? Will you consider data, alongside other decision inputs?