No matter what your level develop an impatience to look at the data first-hand – NOW.
This allows direct analysis and fosters a feeling of ownership of the problem.
Example: Less than a year into his new job, former Chairman of NTT DoCoMo Kouji Ohboshi loaded up a box with every customer complaint form he could find and took it home for the night, analysing every one. Doing so helped him develop an understanding which was important in setting the direction for i-mode.
Source: Beck, J. and Wade, M. (2003). DoCoMo: Japan’s Wireless Tsunami.