DATA DATA DATA – August 2022

Book - The Data Escalator by Helen Tanner

ISSUE 1 – 26 August 2022

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!


 Without going all political on you from the start, my Dad spotted this little gem of a data mention in the Sunday Times

Snippet from Sunday Times - Rishi Sunak backers say he was always the underdog - after own goals

…are you bringing data to the table? Am I? Is Rishi?!

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll share other data-related topics that are hitting the press…and please share any that you spot – political or not!


In our first ever DATA DATA DATA, I want to share the single most important lesson learnt that I’ve realised in the 5 years since I set up Data3 and started working with SMEs on their data challenges and data opportunities – start with the business requirements, not the data.

If you start with the data, you’ll do what you’ve always done, create the same old graphs in the same old reports, calculate the same old metrics, and end up in the same old place. We’ve all seen this haven’t we? It’s those dashboards or reports that no-one uses anymore.

Instead, start with the business requirements – what are you trying to achieve? What’s the business objective? What’s the hypothesis you want to prove or disprove? What’s the urban myth you want to validate? What’s the most important business question you need to answer right now? What business levers can you push or pull…and what data would enable you to be better informed about when to push or pull them? What KPIs do you want to share with your Board, investors, leadership team or other stakeholders? Start with these business requirements…then source the data to meet these business requirements. This way you’ll ensure your data efforts deliver business benefits…you might even change the course of your business.

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll share other lessons learnt, mistakes we’ve made ourselves, mistakes we’ve seen others make (anonymously!) and other hints, tips, and recommendations related to all things data. So, you can learn from me…and get it right first time!


The number 1 most frequent question, the team and I get asked is…should we go for Microsoft or AWS? By Microsoft, they mean aligning their whole business behind Microsoft tools, from Office 365 and Word/Excel/PPT, to Azure cloud solutions, to Data Factory & Databricks for data processing & analysis, through to Power BI for dashboards and reporting. And by AWS, they mean the Amazon Web Services stack with cloud solutions with S3/DynamoDB/Redshift for data storage, processing & analysis.

Which one is best? Sorry to sound like a consultant but, it depends! We’re independent and tech-agnostic, so we approach it pragmatically – what do you have today? is it working for you? what are your requirements for the future? what technology solutions do you need to meet your requirements? how much could this cost to setup, maintain and develop…and then we compare all the answers and make a recommendation.

Both Microsoft and AWS are both market-leading providers and they’re evolving and improving all the time…so usually it comes down to building on whatever you have now.

In the next issue of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll cover the 2nd most frequent question that I’ve come across when talking data with our clients – to go bespoke or use off-the-shelf tools….then Power BI vs Tableau…and then who knows? It’ll be an adventure!


In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll share examples of bad/funny data visualisations, data breaches and data mistakes…the types of things you’ll never see in the press.

But let’s start with the little chestnut…one of my favourite interactive data-related tools. This shows the world’s biggest data breaches & hacks


If you’re anything like me, you’ll waste a load of time playing around with this – you can search by year, by sector and by the method of the breach or hack! Have fun people.

Worlds biggest data breaches and hacks - large bubble diagram showing top companies

And this is my second favourite data-related tool…for those of you who have ever wondered what makes buses bunch? – Have a play with this! You can pause a bus and you can see the history of people waiting at a little imaginary bus stop – what’s not to love?!

why do business bunch? - roadmap showing an imaginary bus route

If anyone can beat these two, please let me know – I’m totally convinced these are the best so try your hardest interactive data fans!


My favourite quote this week was from a business leader in a to-remain-unnamed business who said “Seriously Hels, our data is the worst you’ll have ever seen”. It’s my favourite as I must hear it once a month, at the very least. Talking to businesses about their data can feel like a confessional or a therapy session sometimes as every business leader feels the impact of data gaps or data quality issues in one way, shape or form. Perhaps it’s through management reports they don’t trust, perhaps it’s because they see different numbers from different sources, perhaps it’s because it takes ages, and several spreadsheets, to get an answer to a basic business question like ‘how many customers do we have?’. Spoiler alert – their data was not the worst I’ve ever seen!

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll share 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 ones!

DATA FREEBIES                                       

For the first 10 people to reply to this email, I will personally send you a FREE copy of my book ‘The Data Escalator’ – the only book you’ll ever need to make more money for your business, with the data you already have! What’s not to love?! Get in first people.

Book - The Data Escalator by Helen Tanner

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll share links to a whole range of super useful, completely FREE videos, guides, templates, and similar…so, don’t worry if you miss out this time, there are loads more freebies to come.

Thank you for reading…I’ll be back soon with more data news. And, if you’re in data hell, I’m data Hels!

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