Researchers are valuable. Their years of painstaking and precise research bring us data about important things that affect and sometimes change our lives. But without the scientist’s voice and interpretation, data is meaningless.

In this blog post, author Thomas H. Davenport, Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School, gets to the heart of it: most audiences “care about results and implications.” In other words, what good is data if you can’t tell me why I should care? Tell me a story about how your data will impact my life. Without that link, years of research might as well be non-existent. As Davenport says to researchers, “The lesson: if you’re going to spend the better part of a decade on a research project, also put some time and effort into disseminating your results.”