Two Views on Data — It’s There But Be Careful What You Read In To It

Jon Bradford

Jon Bradford, MD TechStars London

There has never been as much data available as before. But is it any good?

Jon Bradford (@jd) said the costs of starting a new business have collapsed in recent years. Yet the challenges remain the same.

Bradford, who is Managing Director of TechStars in London, said early stage startups struggle to find the correct product-market fit.

Data can help. “How do you get as much data as you can about your business,” he told Startup Grind in Dublin (@StartupGrindIRL) yesterday. “Startups are all about data,” Bradford said.

And it’s not just numeric data, he said. Founders should be collecting data from mentors, customers and various other sources.

Caelen King

Caelen King, CEO WhatClinic.com

However, Caelen King (@caelen) cautioned about web data because there is no certainty on the internet.

Speaking at Entrepreneurs Anonymous last month, the CEO of WhatClinic.com said the collection and analysis of data “feels like an exact science.”

But business on the internet falls down in certain regards, King said. A shop owner knows to put umbrellas out on a wet day and to concentrate on ice cream on a hot day, for example.

Sites often test customer responses to different versions of the same page in A/B testing. Looking at the data, businesses and entrepreneurs are tempted to build a narrative around the results, King said.

“But there is no knowledge there. There is just a metric,” he said. To add to that, a significant minority may also have preferred one of the options.

“Our ability to make good decisions is poor,” King said. However, the decision needs to be made. And once it is, it needs to be made work, he said.

King gave the example of a business looking at locating in Manchester or London. If the decision is made to set up in Manchester, then London will become an unknown.

But, “When Manchester works, we will say we did make the right decision.”

  • Image of Jon Bradford taken from his Twitter page.
  • Image of Caelen King taken from his LinkedIn page.
  • Startup Grind was hosted at UCD’s Innovation Academy (@UCD_Innovators)  

 

 

One thought on “Two Views on Data — It’s There But Be Careful What You Read In To It

  1. Pingback: A/B Tests: No narrative for you, my friend | John P. Muldoon

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