Guy Kawasaki has a blog that I follow. If you don't know who he is just Google him and you'll find out quickly. He's an interesting individual who has a unique point of view.
Anyway, his latest quest is compiling ideas and thoughts for his new book by using his blog followers. His latest request is to give examples of how data was used to 'pursuade' someone. My thought was how sometimes even hard core, black and white data doesn't do the trick.
What I mean is in my experience working with people who are 'financially challenged' they often say they know who they owe, who owes them what bills need to be paid, yet, on the other side of that comment they will remark, "I work so hard...where is all the money going?" To that I respond by putting together their numbers showing the pathway of the money flowing in and the money flowing out. It's pretty clear and the numbers don't lie yet...often times it remains a mystery to them. As if they are thinking (and sometimes saying) I see what you are showing me but I just don't believe it. Did I really make those purchases?
Yep...you did. But seeing the numbers in front of you in a simple concise summary helps the enlightenment process. People who are working for themselves and who have been doing it for a long time usually have an intuitive sense about where they are financially. However, what they usually don't know is how much they've been spending on specific items and/or areas. This is where having the 'data' helps me show them what is really going on and what incremental changes can be made to make a difference in their own bottom line.