Data Driven Decision Making
When does data speak louder than words?
Albert Einstein once famously said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” We asked four senior STEM+ women to share their approach to data driven decision making. How do they know when it really counts?
Lorraine Bolsinger, former president and CEO of GE Distributed Power and GE Aviation Systems.
As a CEO, Lorraine says that she used data driven decision making when it came to choosing her leadership team.
“Choosing a leadership team is like picking a kickball team because it’s all about ‘big, fast, smart and fun,'” she explains. “Big are the people who get things done. They execute. It doesn’t matter what you give them; they will figure it out and quickly get it done. Fast are the people who set the pace. They have the energy that they bring to the organization. Smart are the ones who have clever ideas and spot bad ones. They bring data and new ideas, and they challenge you. You hope they’re all smarter than you are because if they’re not, you’ve got a problem. And fun. If I have to tell you what fun is, then you’re not fun! You will go through difficult times as a team, and you have to be able to laugh together.”
Yumiko Damashek, former vice president of CMC Materials.
Yumiko recognizes the importance of data and analytics, but she tempers that with this perspective when it comes to the real world.
“Life isn’t all about data and analysis; big decisions are often made using other considerations.”
Gloria Cox, senior partner at Cambridge and former executive vice president of Client Services at Nielsen.
Gloria, who has endured many challenges as a woman of color in the workplace, recommends other POC women use data driven decision making for their case if they feel they’re not seen as equal to their male colleagues.
“Young women often say to me that one of their male colleagues is getting paid more than they are,” Gloria says. “My first question to them is whether they know how their performance is being measured. If that isn’t clear, clarify it. Then I tell them to make sure they meet or exceed that criterion. If they do, they have data to support their case. If they can’t get clarity on the expectations or metrics, that’s a red flag—there may be bigger, systemic issues that need to be addressed.”
D. Sangeeta, founder and CEO of Gotara.
Sangeeta shares how data driven decisions helped her garner influence and get results
“I learned early in my career to leverage data to make my case,” she explains. “Data always speaks louder than words. There is no doubt: It’s the best way to influence leaders and decisions.”
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