March 14, 2012
There are many ways to “show me the data”. Numbers, images, characters etc. However, telling an anecdote is not and may be construed as blasé; in addition, may not get you what you want. One story doesn’t tell it all. There are so many people who have their own story to tell, so don’t mess it up for everyone by telling one small piece of datum. The World English Dictionary defines data (a plural form of datum) as a series of observations, measurements, or facts; information.
Rod Tidwell, a character in Jerry McGuire said “Show me the money”! This is classic for I want to see the dollar amount (the numbers); don’t try to sell me and don’t tell me what you think I want to hear! Data motivates what we do, what we want to accomplish and the decisions we make overall in life. We take certain positions that depend on the amount of money we will make. We take certain classes to increase our GPA’s and units to graduate. Donors fund on the basis of what they can visually see and in the case of Rod Tidwell, the numbers had to speak loudly in order for him to make a future career move with Jerry McGuire. Dr. Simmons said “anecdotes do not equal data”. CBO’s must realize the importance of documentation. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Whether it’s in a chart, a matrix, or in picture form, document what you have done and share with everyone. It's a numbers game folks. Now get your head in the game!