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Select the Data You Need

by Braintrust2023 | December 13, 2023 | Categories: Thomas Edison, General, Summary of All, Huh? That's Intersting, Lanes of Perspectives, The Essentials of Innovation in 7 Quotes, Charles Darwin, George Washington Carver, Albert Einstein, Brene Brown, Billie Jean King, Maya Angelou,

By Cor Bosselaar

Challenge:  We need an effective portfolio overview to provide clarity for smart decision-making but can’t weave our way through all the data available, either in time or in complexity, to make the best decisions.


Solution:  Buy a fishing net, not a gillnet, to get the data you need.


To enable effective decision making on a project portfolio, or any other list of investment options, it is critical to collect enough relevant information to make an effective decision without extraneous information that warps or distorts quality decisions.


How do teams decide which information to gather and use when the data is spread out across different tools, functions, business needs, etc., making it difficult to get a meaningful overview of the portfolio?  Focus on the most critical data needed to make each decision.  When companies don’t start with that focus in mind, they become less efficient and effective.  Too much time is spent gathering data and combining it to get a coherent picture. More data is not necessarily better.


Instead, start with a focus on the three buckets needed for portfolio management:


  1. The investment needed for each project to be successful, e.g., Spending, FTE’s, etc.
  2. The benefit that each project will deliver, e.g., Net Sales, Market share and,
  3. The risk analysis of the returns expected to be realized.


We usually find different levels of data completeness and accuracy across the list of company projects, making comparing more apples and oranges-type comparisons. And, while perfect data across the portfolio is desirable, it often takes too much time for the value that ‘perfect data’ provides.  Further, it is important to remember that all future data, like benefit and risk, are speculative. Therefore, gather only what you need to make your best decision.  Then, look at the project list and evaluate whether the benefits relative to each other make sense. Those  comparisons usually reveal the situation and make the decision clear.


If your organization is challenged getting through the weeds to see the landscape for sound decision-making, an outside, objective perspective can help facilitate the focus on important questions, data and balance.  Sometimes, being too close to the data can have a blinding effect.

Our Company

Lodestone Innovation is a brain trust of experts in innovation, branding, and marketing. With global executive experience leading some of the most recognized companies and brands in the world, we transform organizations into innovative, brand-driven, growth-focused successes. We do it in close partnership and advisory roles as well as by rolling up our sleeves in augmented leadership positions.

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Oleta Lane Salyards
(469) 853-7671

Paul Salyards
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