Whether we’re talking about the real or the online world, both are absolutely stuffed with soft data.
Hard data, on the other hand, is difficult to find. I don’t care what subject is in question, soft data abounds. It’s especially prevalent when it comes to making money, starting a business or just creating an incredible lifestyle.
Let’s look at the simple difference between the two.
Hard Data (Measurable and Direct)
Hard data is what you’re seeking right now. You want to know exactly what these things are. Hard data is specific; it’s niche. Hard data is something that can typically be either quantified or directly applied.
Soft Data (Qualitative and Abstract)
You know exactly what soft data is because you’re probably surrounded by it and bombarded with it on a pretty regular basis. If you Google this stuff, this is what you’ll find on Yahoo Answers:
“Soft data is anecdotal, usually gathered in informal communications and lacks the rigor that is implied in statistical data. Soft data is often presented in the form of quotes and anecdotes.”
The world is not only full of soft data, but soft data people as well – people who scoot by, not really being specific. Soft data people are, in most cases, intellectually lazy. They don’t want the numbers, the statistics, the analytics or the metrics. They want theories, philosophies, and generalities.
Successful People are Hard Data People
If you ask a soft data investor how they did in the stock market last year, they’ll say something like, “Oh, I did great!” What the hell does that mean? A hard data person will look you in the eye and say something like “I’m up exactly 23%.” If you ask them if they are a fast runner, they’ll give you their exact hundred-meter time.
When someone asks you if you can do something and all you do is fill their head with words with nothing to back them up, you’re talking soft. If you show them a portfolio, hand them a page of phone numbers to references, and lay out the hard data, then you’re acting like a successful person does. Hard data is:
- Business-Meeting clear
The Business World Thrives on Hard Data
Once you go beyond the chatter and rise above the distractions and start going to some meetings with serious people who run serious business platforms, you won’t hear much (if any) soft data. There’s no time for it. Sure, lots of customer feedback is soft along with consumer behavior, but the analytics don’t lie.
Now take a good hard data type approach to your dating life.
How many dates did you go on last month?
How many phone numbers did you get?
How many of the women who you texted failed to respond?
Analyzing this data will show you exactly where your game is weak.
I make all my clients in Leverage track this stuff on a weekly basis and the results are pretty amazing.
I’d define “amazing” with hard data but not on a public blog 😉 You’ll have to join to become privy to that information.