In today’s world, people have a tendency to fall in love with data that isn’t overly meaningful. Take for instance the focus on people to measure themselves with likes, views, clicks or other metrics. Do these numbers really tell you the true value of a person – no. How about a company that prides themselves on getting hundreds of thousands of unique visitors to their website every month? That’s an impressive figure no doubt, but the better question to ask is “Is it meaningful?”

As a leader in your company you may look at that large amount of visitors and fall in love with this big impressive number. It feels good knowing that you are getting that much traction and it can be easy to stop there and say that your company is successful. However, as a Lean Six Sigma practioner it is your job to be practical, step back and ask “So what?”

I call it the “so what” factor, because when you get numbers that lure you in, it is important to ask yourself what does it mean? How does that translate into revenue or value? Is it your goal to put something out there and get a bunch of views, or maybe open a store and get a lot of people driving by to look at it? If you are in a for-profit business, it may be more likely that your goal is converting a portion of those visitors into paying customers.

Data, especially large numbers or impressive graphs, can be easy to love, but stop and remember to ask questions like: “Is this data meaningful?” “Will this help us achieve our desired outcome?” or maybe the question is simply “Can this data help to start a meaningful conversation?”

As a Lean Six Sigma or Lean practioner, you need to counsel your organization to fall in love with the right data – the data that is the best match for the organization and its ultimate goal.