Data and Creativity

An idea. A question. A feeling that something can be created. You talk it out with your spouse, your buddies on the golf course, your co-workers. You realize it’s actually a good idea, something you could build and could get others excited about.

It’s no longer just an idea, but a solution to a problem that you can fix.

Creative inclinations and ideas can happen on accident, but market research and data verification is a thoughtful and focused process.

Tom Clark, CEO of Social Dental, noticed that there was no social media solution for dentists, so he created one. “It came from a problem in the market. I realized how valuable the dental profession was and thought, How do we project that? How do we let other people know how dental offices are unique in terms of their service, technology, and how much they care?

After two years of market research and filing a patent with HIPPA, Social Dental has developed the first software ever that allows patients to take photos in a dental office and e-sign immediately to release on social media. Social Dental helps dental practices grow their client base and build their reputation on social media—all through the perspective, pictures, and posts of the patient. Data, research, and creative thinking led to Tom’s idea becoming a reality.

Data as a Creative Catalyst

Combining data and creativity is not a new process. However, with the advance of business intelligence and big data, businesses now have unparalleled opportunities to make decisions based on key metrics.

“Data can help you ask a whole new set of questions, from there you can go on and create groundbreaking work,” says Ben Essen, head of planning at UK-based advertising agency Iris Worldwide. “It’s part of the new creative skill set.”

Metrics and key performance indicators facilitate idea origination and creative strategy once a company is up and running. “If you have the data, the risk becomes an informed decision,” says Tom about taking risks in business.

In 2010, an IBM global survey of CEOs pinpointed creativity as the top “leadership” quality of the future. The advance of business intelligence tools allow creative leaders to make decisions based on research and metrics.

Data and creativity cannot live in separate worlds. You can exercise your creativity and develop business strategies with your data and key performance indicators – use those metrics to catapult your company to find new untapped markets and better serve your existing customers.

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