When Left Brain Meets Right Brain
I love this term, as it takes a deep understanding of data and creativity to really appreciate this. Often, data is perceived to be the activity on the left brain hemisphere and creativity is perceived to be the activity on the right brain hemisphere.
When measurement and metrics were brought up in a marketing discussion, I can sense some discomfort among those who prefer to remain in the creativity space and not to be the measurement spotlight. I know why. At the same time, those who claimed to be analytics and data expert presents loads of data that either scares everyone or confuses everyone else. I know why too.
It is a constant fight between our left and right brain in finding a balance between both hemisphere. It need not be a constant fight, but complementary if each side respects other in a co-exist mindset. It’ll take courage and experience to connect them.
Let me give a specific example to illustrate my thinking.
Philosophically, the picture on the page illustrates the traditional way of looking at data and metrics. There is nothing wrong looking at it in whatever format(Hadoop, Radoop, Structure or Unstructured), nor how was it positioned in the company, in the industry or in the mind of anyone. It will take a while to change perception.
Breaking It Down (BD)
What is important is how we break down the information into smaller knowledge universe, into small parts with contextual information that gives meaning to the simplest element. Simply means, characterise it. Each circle will need to provide a story simple enough that is understood by layman. All statistical techniques aim to do one thing: to give data a voice of its own objectively. There are simple ways to do it, without unnecessary complication. It’s like a baby learning to sit, crawl, walk and run. Progress your dimensional analysis slowly (1 dimension to 2 dimensions, 2 dimensions to 3 dimensions and so on…)
Simplicity is beautiful.
Simple Parts (SP)
I felt that thinking simple is really tough as it requires crystal clear thinking. Thinking complicated is simple as it only requires muddled thinking. In my humble opinion, I think that’s how we can tell from pros and novice. The way of questioning data determines our way to characterising it. So, just ask simple questions that gives data a voice of it own.
Eg, Is your marketing campaign successful? Yes or No Answer.
Can we repeat the success? Yes or No Answer,
Are you confident of that? Yes or No Answer.
Can you describe the person whom we had recently acquired? Yes or No Answer.
Newly Formed (NF)
I felt the third is the area where both brains meet is how we look at the data from an insight building objective. At this stage, data should and must inspire creativity for the team to do better in designing innovative service, products or campaigns.
I had the opportunity to work some very talented creative people. They are able to create great products and ideas from various information, stimulus and observations. Data and Analytics should provide such possibilities and connections for them through permutations of such information, stimulus and observations.
Getting newly formed (NF) insights should be the aim at this stage and it needs to iterate with data and creative platforms. Continue to fine tune the insights. Innovate with analogous data points, create new ideas from prototyping. Test it, Learn it, Create it. Again.
Adopt TAMALA approach – Think Agile, Make Affordable, Learn with Analytics.
Research has shown that constraint through metrics is perhaps the best way to invigorate best ideas forward. See data as a partner to provide the best insights to liberate innovative ideas and creativity.
It is quite similar to the essence of strategic thinking, defined a few hundred years ago. Tear it down, Label it and Build it up again. Always keep the shape and form flexible.
By Dr. Patrick Chin.
Read on my linkedin post too.