Great research minds have a purpose, where others have wishes. We live in a world of data from every aspect of our lives. As I am writing this, I asked Alexa to tell me the value of pi. The approximate value of pi is 3.141592653589….Alexa went on forever! This is exactly what I am referring to. Numbers are everywhere. We live in a data-collection world; but they don’t mean anything without a purpose. Our industry needs to shift its focus to a purpose-driven data approach. It is time to adopt some new words and drop a few to leverage the power of insights and intelligence.
Adopt: Insights Analyst
Have you ever wondered why the word “research” includes “re” at the beginning? Are we in the business of re-searching for data endlessly? It makes me think of an endless circle. Are we chasing our tails at some point? My colleagues in the research departments are data-literate professionals who produce insights and outcomes. They uncover new opportunities and optimization via data and tell compelling stories that resonate with stakeholders. It is time to recognize the evolution and welcome the Insights Analyst.
Tourism executives need to transition from a data-driven to a data-led approach. The purpose of a DMO is not to have data for the sake of having it. The goal of tourism executives is to be data-led to uncover and optimize the potential of new sources of opportunities, unseen economic and socio-cultural values for the community.
We discussed data hoarding a while back. It is tempting to collect data because it is just cool. But success is not about collecting and storing data in one place. Success is breaking the silos and sharing the insights throughout the DMO and destination. Let’s liberate the data and share the insights throughout the community. It is about collaboration.
Let’s be honest, we know that 80% of our destination outcomes will come from 20% of our data analytics. The 80-20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, states that 20% of our activities will drive 80% of our results. It is one of the most helpful ways to differentiate the noise within all data. Don’t let insights be buried in data. (Psst… Liberate all of it.)
The beginning of wisdom starts with curiosity. The challenges facing our destinations are immense. It is easy to get caught up in fact-finding and reporting. It is crucial to ask the question “Why?” It is the new and novel questions tourism leaders ask that lead to successful outcomes. They are the results of a curious mind that paves the way to creative solutions. We all need to ensure we adopt a culture of curiosity—it will be your competitive advantage. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. As Walt Whitman once said, “Be curious, not judgemental.”
If you search and search over and over again you're just RE-searching. Time to evolve.