Data is beautiful. It’s a phrase we hear more and more often, but something that is often difficult to put in perspective when it comes to small business management. Here we’ve rounded up 10 inspiration quotes that will get you fired up about data and three simple tips to help you get started.

  • Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us. (Learned Hand)
  • It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. (Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data. (Daniel Keys Moran)
  • The key to good decision-making is evaluating the available information – the data – and combining it with your own estimates of pluses and minuses. As an economist, I do this every day. (Emily Oster)
  • Data helps solve problems. (Anne Wojcicki)
  • Analyse data just so far as to obtain simplicity and no further. (Henri Poincaré)
  • Although we often hear that data speak for themselves, their voices can be soft and sly. (Frederick Mosteller)
  • Thought, without the data on which to structure that thought, leads nowhere. (Victor J. Stenger)
  • Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves. (Tim Berners-Lee)
  • Any enterprise CEO really ought to be able to ask a question that involves connecting data across the organization, be able to run a company effectively, and especially to be able to respond to unexpected events. Most organizations are missing this ability to connect all the data together. (Tim Berners-Lee)

Now the question remains — how can you put all this wonderful data to its best use? Check out our three-step plan.

  1. Collect Worthwhile Data

The data you collect is what creates the information you need; therefore, don’t leave any rock unturned. Collect data from every aspect and level of your business, from research and development all the way through to customer resolution.

  1. Encourage Communication

Use programs and systems that can be integrated or communicate to each other. This may mean investing in a central hub program with add-ons or in a robust intelligence system that can pull data across multiple platforms.

  1. Be Fearless But Wise

Making bold decision doesn’t mean jumping into the deep end blindly. There’s nothing wrong with a little risk and taking a chance can pay off big — but do so wisely and only once you’ve used your data and the insight it gives you to create that moment of inspiration. Then… go with your gut.