DATA DATA DATA – February 2023

Do you want to grow your business, innovate, drive efficiencies, &/or create new revenue streams? Of course, you do! Well data is the starting point…and this is the only data-focused roundup you’ll ever need!


Let’s face it, the news is dominated by talk of inflation, debt, the cost of living crisis and global economic doom. But let’s skip to the data. The Office for National Statistics has a whole array of economic and socio-demographic data at You can view the latest stats, view time series, download graphs and export data.

Data on the Office for National Statistics showing Employment, Inflation and GDP

Depending on your business model, some of the free data available might be super helpful for your business. If you target consumers, knowing the demographic of the local population could inform your targeted marketing activity…

Age Structure of the population, 2021, local authorities in England and Wales

If you work in the property sector, knowing the national house price changes could inform your business strategy…

Image showing the increase in housing prices from 2005 to 2022

Have a play with ONS data at


In DATA DATA DATA, I want to share the most important lessons learnt that I’ve realised in the last 5+ years since I set up Data3 and started working with SMEs on their data challenges and data opportunities.

This time, it’s – how to get into a career in data. Because, there’s no doubt about it, choosing a career in data is a smart move.

We’re working in a world where there’s a growing awareness of the value of data for global organisations…yet there aren’t enough people skilled in data…so there’s more demand than supply…and therefore massive wage inflation. So, if you want to choose a career with longevity, and decent salaries, where you’ll always be in demand – choose a career in data.

But where do you start? There are so many different flavours of data roles – from data consultants, to data engineers, to coders, to data visualisers, to data analysers and data scientists. There are all sorts of technology in the data world and a ton of acronyms – from Azure/AWS/GCP, to SQL/Python/R, to Power BI/Tableau/Google Data, and more.

I usually recommend one of two routes in, depending on what type of person you are:

  1. FOR PEOPLE NEW TO TECHNOLOGY – start with Microsoft Power BI which is a tool you can use to create dashboards. Of all the data tools, this one is the most prolific, it’s free to get started, and there are loads of free self-training options. So, it’s a perfect entry-level option and there are loads of roles being advertised where Power BI skills are required. Start learning with our Data3 online training videos and then use all the free training solutions available from Microsoft. Within a couple of hours, you’ll create your first dashboard…within a couple of days, you’ll be playing with different features…within a couple of weeks, you’ll be feeling confident.
  2. FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CURIOUS ABOUT CODING – start with SQL which is a programming language for storing and processing data. Of all the programming languages, this one is often the easiest to get started with and, again there are lots of free training options. Check out the ones at Udemy or try some of these.

So, what’s stopping you? Switch to a career in data in 2023. You won’t regret it.


I LOVE seeing examples of good/bad/funny data visualisations, data wins, data mistakes, and more. This issue is designed for those of you who love Horrible Histories and data…and quite frankly, who doesn’t?

From China’s disrupted search for Rome in 97 AD…

Chinas search for Rome in 97 AD

…to the 2008 global financial crisis…

The 2008 World Financial Meltdown

…it’s all down to bad data. So, this means that all of us data types are kinda like superheroes. Or that’s the moral I’m taking from these historical data mistakes.

Read all about these, and more, data-driven historical disasters at

Have you seen any examples of data craziness you want to share? Please drop me a line.


In previous issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ve shared the most frequent questions, the team and I get asked – Microsoft or AWS? Power BI or Tableau? Off-the-shelf or DIY? Recruit in-house or use a data consultancy? Data engineer or data scientist? Data lake, database, or data warehouse? Dashboard vs insight report? And to monetise data or not?

This time, it’s GDPR-averse or GDPR-aware

GDPR – 4 letters that can strike fear into the heart of anyone starting to think about using their data for commercial reasons. I come across people that are so worried about GDPR that they’ve deleted data or stopped all data-driven marketing activity “just in case”. But it doesn’t need to be that way. You don’t need to be GDPR-averse and terrified about getting a huge fine…you just need to be GDPR-aware.

So, let’s start with the basics – GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it covers all data in the EU and UK – find out more at GDPR doesn’t stop businesses from using their data at all, but it does force us to treat data with respect. Much of the regulation is common sense including:

·       Remember your customers data belongs to them, not you

·       Tell your customers what you’ll do with their data

·       Keep data secure

·       Question your intentions with the data

This is all eminently sensible, right? I’d add that we should treat data as it if contains information about our friends and families.

Here’s a quick overview of GDPR…

Image showing GDPR

If you’re not sure whether you can use data in the way you want to, the ICO have a fantastic tool called the Legitimate Interest Assessment which enables you to consider your planned data usage, and work out whether it’s in the legitimate interests of the data subject.

So, please don’t be GDPR-averse…but let’s be GDPR-aware. And, if you want some help, chat to me. 

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll cover other frequent questions that I’ve come across when talking data with our clients…anyone want to guess what they are?!


Here’s a good one from Marissa Mayer…

Quote from Marissa Mayer - With data collection, the sooner the better, is always the best answer

But with some words of warning…

Quote from Ronald Coase - Torture the data and it will confess to anything
Quote from Jay Baer - We are surrounded by data, but starved for insights

In future issues, I’ll share more quotes I hear, quotes I read, quotes you tell me about, and more – what’s your favourite data-related quote? Let me know and we’ll find a data-related prize for the best one.

DATA FREEBIES                                      

In this issue, I want to share our data strategy templates – we’ve created a series of data strategy templates designed for businesses that sell to businesses or individuals, work in the UK or globally, and are small, micro businesses or large enterprises. We have a template for each type of business, ready to get you started.

Data cubed - the data strategy template

Do you need a data strategy template to fast-track your data transformation? Drop us a line at, tell us about your business size and target audience, and we’ll send you the data strategy template that’s right for your business. And, if you need any help with creating your data strategy, we can help with that too.

In future issues, I’ll share links to super useful, completely FREE videos, guides, templates, and similar…so, there are loads more freebies to come.

Thank you for reading…I’ll be back soon with more data news in 2023.

And, if you’re in data hell, I’m data Hels!

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