It’s common for people to assume that others see the world the way they do, and this is a mistake. Differences in assumptions and understanding can be especially treacherous when dealing with information that is being used to drive business decisions; this is why it is imperative that we work closely with our customers. We work hard to establish mutual understanding with our customers by insisting on clear channels of communication, and through detailed exploration of issues, needs and solutions.
Hand-in-hand with collaboration goes iteration. It is important that our customers get ‘something they can touch’ as soon as possible. Information analysis is a journey, and answers lead to more questions. It is when a customer starts to ‘play with something’ that they formulate the clearest ideas about what they need. We work to deliver prototypes as early as possible in our engagements, and demand customer feedback frequently.
Serendipity frequently plays a role in data analysis, but it is vital to remind yourself constantly why you are engaged in some effort. What are the outcomes you are working towards. We work to establish outcomes very early in our engagements, and to reaffirm these constantly. When target outcomes change, as they often do, this should be recognised as responded to swiftly.
As strange as this may sound, we want your successful outcomes to be reached with as little work as possible. Less work, less complexity, less maintenance, less cost – but without compromising the quality or utility of the outcome.