From Gut-Feel to Data-Real: 9 Small Things You Can Do Right Now If You’re Struggling With Data-Driven Decisions

Sven Balnojan
4 min readOct 27, 2023
Image by Sven Balnojan.

The Scotts have a saying: many a little makes a mickle.

Some jobs aren’t fun, but you must plod along to get them done.

Becoming “data-driven”, and making data-inspired decisions as a manager, as a knowledge worker, and as a company definitely falls into this category.

There is no sense in trying to talk up the subject, data is unsexy, and data-driven decisions are not fun. They require seemingly more work than gut feeling or any other decision methodology you currently use.

But as the Scotts say, little steps count.

Here are 9 small things you can do right now to give your decisions a backbone of data.

1. Say, “let’s analyze the data for this problem.”

You’re in a meeting, and you can’t seem to reach a decision?

Then, suggest taking a (small) step back.

Pull out the data, the raw, objective table of facts.

It only takes a couple of minutes, but the effect is usually sobering.

Arguments disappear when data hits the table.

2. Ditch the PowerPoint, write an analysis

Amazon is famous for its 6-pager memos.

But you don’t need to change the culture of a complete company and every meeting to take a slice of that Amazon spirit.

Next time you prepare a presentation to make an argument, why not write an analysis instead?

Take your key argument, and write it down with the data, use the data to derive your decision in words.

It only takes 30 minutes, and you can still hold a presentation afterward, but having your data-based argument in writing will change how you approach your presentation.

3. Build tracking in

Peter Drucker is famous for his decision-making mastery.

The last step of his famous simple decision-making process is this one:

“6. Testing the validity and

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Sven Balnojan

Head of Marketing @ Arch | Data PM | “Data Mesh in Action” | Join my free data newsletters at http://thdpth.com/ and http://finishslime.com