Few people really want to make decisions without evidence, but time pressures and competing priorities can make achieving analysis with impact difficult. This post explores some of the ways you can make sure your analysis makes a difference.
Put Yourself in The Decision-Maker’s Shoes
Think about the the person you would like your analysis to have an impact on. It is likely that they are very busy and have many competing priorities, concerns and commitments. Your analysis may feel very important thing to you, but what is the most important thing to them? Try to put yourself in their shoes before thinking about how you will communicate your analysis to them.
Make Sure Your Analysis is Timely
Analysis has to be delivered at the right time for it to make a difference. Decisions are often made with imperfect information, and if your analysis is even a few minutes late it helps nobody. Make sure your analysis arrives in time to have any chance of making an impact.
Don’t Get Bogged Down in the Detail
As important as being on time with your analysis, is getting to the point. Your audience only has a limited time to take in your message – if it is not immediately clear what you are trying to say, you may miss an opportunity to make a difference.
Communicate Your Message
Think about how much time you put into producing your analysis compared to how much time went into communicating it. After immersing ourselves in an analytical project it is easy to assume that others have the same understanding of the details, and recognise the significant points.
This may be true on some occaisions, but it is more likely that your audience has many issues to deal with, and does not have the time treat your work with the same degree of attention that you have.
Don’t rely on your analysis speaking for itself – work on communicating the message and make it clear what you want to say.