The data marathon

I’m currently training for a marathon, and have been putting off sorting out the tons of running data gathered by my GPS watch. I haven’t been practicing what I preach when it comes to data management, and my continued procrastination was holding back my performance.

I have a number of training routes, all measured out in my head. However, I’ve always wondered why my 10k races were never as fast as my 10k training runs. After finally biting the bullet and working through my logged data, I found that my training runs were actually 9.1k! My training strategy was based on flawed assumptions, and not informed by hard data. A sure-fire way to get disappointing results!

No pain no gain

I put a lot of effort into my running, but – just like in any area of life or business – neglecting the detail can put that end performance in jeopardy. It can be a pain to get the preparation right, and to trawl through the detail to find the best strategies, but it’s well worth it.


So, how am I performing? Well, I could do better! Taking time out to see what my data is saying reveals a very inconsistent picture, and highlights a need to track my progress better, and monitor what my data is telling me. Is it working effectively for me? Are things improving over time? We all assume we know everything about ourselves (and our customers), but checking and tracking that data might just throw up some surprises.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

We all know that digging into this level of detail can be one of those jobs that gets put off in favour of other ‘sexier’ tasks, and it can take a lot of time – but giving data the attention it deserves will give you a better understanding of your performance, and help to inform future strategies to achieve more successful results.