The Importance of Complete Data and Information

Many of our ROE believers are collecting more useful quantitative and qualitative data than even a few months ago. They are truly gathering what the U.S. CIA refers to as “actionable intelligence”.

I am in Kuwait City in the Middle East, ready to deliver a Kirkpatrick Four Levels™ Evaluation Certification program over the next two days. I arrived at 4am Saturday morning, so I had virtually the entire day to rest up and relax. At 10:30 pm I learned a painful lesson on the importance of effectively analyzing available, actionable data.

I woke up about 10:00 am after a brief nap, ready for the day. My first thought was, “This is my first time in Kuwait. I wonder what there is to do around the hotel?” I started out with a nice breakfast on a little outdoor veranda, with warm sun and a view in three directions. As I looked around, all I saw was residential and commercial buildings; nothing that caught my eye that I would want to explore. “Okay”, I said to myself. “I will spend the day in this fine hotel, doing some work and relaxing.”

At 10:00 pm, I decided to work out in the fitness center, located outdoors on the top floor of the hotel. As I stepped out of the elevator and walked around the pool to the gym, I immediately realized my morning mistake. My view of all four directions. The view I missed this morning was a beautiful moonlit beach, a mere 50 yards away, with vast white sands and breaking surf.

All I could think while on the treadmill was, “Rats. Instead of being in my room all day, I could have been at the beach!” I had neglected to collect and analyze the complete data that morning, and it cost me.

Be purposeful in determining what quantitative and qualitative data you collect for a given initiative. Always start with the question, “What information will be most useful to me and the learners, and credible for my stakeholders?” It will help you not to miss your “beach” as I did.