3 Reasons Not to Fear Data

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Do you cringe at the mention of excel spreadsheets? Do you thank your lucky stars you never have to think about derivatives and limits again? We understand this aversion to numbers; it’s common. But numbers aren’t always cold and unforgiving. They can be soft and cuddly, too. Let’s take a look at some of the good they can do.

1. Show Your ROI

Do you know how awesome you are, but no matter how many people you tell or how loudly you tell them, they don’t believe you? Change their perception with this handy little equation:

ROI = (Revenue – Investment) / Investment * 100

Now let’s apply it to a real-world situation. Your friend hires you to help redesign her website. She pays you $100 for your expertise in optimizing her online shopping cart. In the two weeks following your stint as her employee, your friend happily reports a $500 increase in sales. That ROI equation would be: (500-100)/ 100 * 100 = 400% ROI.

Although that’s a pretty high percentage, it demonstrates that you produce 400% times what you are paid, which makes you a very smart investment. Next time you have to pitch yourself to a potential client or employer, use math to your advantage.

2. Do A Better Job

You’ve got a hunch that your company isn’t making the most of their web presence, but the decision makers aren’t sold on shaking up the process.

Instead of moping like Charlie Brown for the rest of the week, gather all the applicable statistics on the importance of SEO copywriting, data on how content creation boosts web traffic, and research the impact of social media on your online awareness and then present your findings. Whether they run with your idea or simply offer blank stares, you’ve shown initiative and intuition.

Another bonus: you’re bound to have learned something, which brings us to the last point…

3. Learn Something!

Aristotle told us that, “All men desire knowledge.” He didn’t say it had to be done in any particular way, just that it is our natural state as humans. There is a vast difference between wanting to know it all and being a know-it-all, the former being a beneficial quality found in ambitious people.

Admittedly, this will sound cheesy, but the more information you collect, the better prepared you will be for any number of conversations, projects or even job opportunities. It is extremely unlikely that you’ll research a subject without retaining at least one interesting fact. From the percentage of bilingual Americans to the number of tweets in a day, you never know what information will be useful in the future.

So go ahead, overcome your fear and embrace data, you just might have the perfect opportunity to wow your colleagues and show them how smart and interesting you really are.