Responding to Someone Who Challenges Your Data

by Jon M. Jachimowicz

I recently conducted a study with a large, multinational company to figure out how to increase employee engagement. After the data collection was complete, I ran the data analysis and found some intriguing findings that I was excited to share with the firm. But a troubling result became apparent in my analysis: The organization had rampant discrimination against women, especially ambitious, passionate, talented women. Although this result was based on initial data and was not particularly rigorous, I was convinced that managers at the collaborating organization would like to hear it so that they could address the issue.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. In a meeting ...

Get HBR Guide to Data Analytics Basics for Managers (HBR Guide Series) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.