The Loop

Digital strategy is hard to come by. So, I’d like to share this one tip I learned from the unlikeliest of places — Spy novels. It’s called the Loop.

Apparently it was made famous by Air Force and F-15 fighter pilots. The OODA Loop is a decision cycle that stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.  When pilots are in mid air immersed in ‘life or death’ dogfights, the pilot who can cycle through this decision loop the quickest is the winner. Or, the one who lives.

I read about the DADA Loop in John Braddock’s short book A Spy’s Guide to Thinking. It stands for Data, Analysis, Decision, Action. This is an easy way to bring linearity to a non-linear discipline.

I’ll break it down in terms of digital strategy

Data — understand your environment (most likely your client’s environment). Look at their users, competitors, the best in business, and the marketplace. There’s a lot of really great trend reports and surveys out there that can be used for secondary research.

Analysis – analyze the data. You can look at both quantitative (objective measurements like numbers, followers, market-shares) and qualitative (subjective observations) data. Look for recurring themes in observations, anomalies in metrics, or interpret social comments.

Decision — based on the data and your analysis of that data, make the most informed decision

Action — the plan or product of your decision making. Execute.

Rinse and repeat — this is an important step. The fighter pilot who just escaped the missile needs to cycle through this loop again…and so do you.

The reality is this: you’ll continue to gather information as a web project or digital product engagement goes on. Use that information to always make the best call, the most informed decision, and iterate on that.

More to come about data, analysis, decisions, and actions.