Posted by: datango AG | November 9, 2010

Get your OWN data?

Statistics can be manipulated, fabricated or forgotten at varying rates, depending upon how you were taught them. Or perhaps not…

In the current economic circumstances, many companies are driving hard on ROI data and statistics prior to a purchase and that drives vendors (that would be us!) to attempt to gather more and more information from a myriad of sources (in our case, we like to use our customers and partners as our primary sources of data collection). But as an informed consumer, how can you verify that the information is correct?

Take the following blog posting that harks back to 2006: http://www.willatworklearning.com/2006/05/people_remember.html. In it, the author articulately and precisely debunks the oft-presented retention theory that the delivery of ‘content’ using various media types and/or delivery vehicles impacts retention measurably. It’s a good read and even some of the authors of the ‘offending’ diagrams have acknowledged the post’s accuracy.

So where does that leave us? In our view, you’re left with just one sensible option: Get your own data. How? Kick the tires. Establish good evaluation criteria (e.g. reduce documentation development time by X; reduce end user calls to the help desk by Y; etc.) and then ask your vendor to prove that the solution can deliver. If they can’t (or won’t), be skeptical, be a cynic, but above all else keep your money in your corporate coffers…

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