Working on a head coach appointment over the past few weeks I have watched the subtle dance between the objective and subjective in a way that has re-framed my view of the role of data in our game.

I have always believed in an evidence-based approach using analytics – and meet many great practitioners who are either in this field, or lean on it daily. But it is only in sitting down with our client, and partners 21st Club to use a combination of data inputs, interview questions, trusted references and our collective thoughts that I realised how much both are needed.

Data is only valuable when analysed with human understanding and insight. And gut feel is hugely important as long as you understand what it is telling you and why.

We don’t run searches for head coaches as the candidates present themselves. But we do run a process to help inform one of the biggest decisions our clients may face, and help make sense of why a certain course of action feels right.

Because, just as we believe any role is 50% capability, 50% cultural fit, so any decision needs to have objective and subjective inputs. Data needs interpreting, feelings to be understood. And both require the right team, and strong leadership, to know what together they are telling us.