I read an interesting story recently about understanding and relating data results to practical solutions. Proof that taking a step back and taking a different approach is always worthwhile.
During World War II, fighter planes would come back from battle with bullet holes. The Allies found the areas that were most commonly hit by enemy fire. They sought to strengthen the most commonly damaged parts of the planes to reduce the number that was shot down.
A mathematician, Abraham Wald, pointed out that perhaps there was another way to look at the data. Perhaps the reason certain areas of the planes weren’t covered in bullet holes was that planes that were shot in those areas did not return. This insight led to the armor being re-enforced on the parts of the plane where there were no bullet holes.