Fruit Roll Up

OK, nothing about fruit here, but let’s talk about rolling up data. When you spend the time and resources to gather data for something you’re doing, it’s a giant hassle to have to go back and do it again, so always collect your data as granularly as possible. There are constraints of time and money on what you can do, but it’s better to take a bit more during data collection than to have to do it twice. Let’s say you are interested in whether your customers are happy. You get busy gathering this information and present it to your boss, and the first thing she says is “why are the unhappy ones unhappy?” You say, “I dunno,” as you look down and kick at your own feet. So instead of collecting the yes/no data on your customers, if you had taken just a bit of time to collect the level of happiness and the reason, you can easily roll that data up into yes/no, but you can unroll for more research as needed. So this way, you are ready to say to your boss “great question and here’s the detail on page 2.” Sweet. Remember: Rolling up detailed data is easy, but you can’t unroll data if you don’t have it in the first place.

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