Running on Data: Activity Trackers and the Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is often described as a collection of connected sensors, but it is actually a much more complex concept. It involves not only the connection and integration of devices that monitor the physical world—temperature, pressure, altitude, motion, proximity to something else, biometrics, sound, images, and so forth—but also the aggregation, relationship, and analysis of the information those devices create in order … [ Read more ]

Too Big to Ignore: When Does Big Data Provide Big Value?

Much of the language surrounding big data conveys a muddled conception of what data, “big” or otherwise, means to the majority of organizations pursuing analytics strategies. Big data is shrouded in hyperbole and confusion, which can be a breeding ground for strategic errors. Big data is a big deal, but it is time to separate the signal from the noise.

A Delicate Balance: Organizational Barriers to Evidence-Based Management

For all of their promise, analytics projects are often stymied because of failures to appreciate that both data-driven analytics and expert decision-making have strengths as well as limitations; and that the strengths and limitations of each must be counterbalanced with those of the other. The image of “data mining” should give way to the image of “data dialogues”.

James Guszcza, David Steier, John Lucker, Vivekanand Gopalkrishnan, Harvey Lewis

The same body of psychological research that underpins behavioral economics also suggests that we are very poor natural statisticians. We are naturally prone to find spurious information in data where none exists, latch on to causal narratives that are unsupported by sketchy statistical evidence, ignore population base rates when estimating probabilities for individual cases, be overconfident in our judgments, and generally be “fooled by randomness.” … [ Read more ]

James Guszcza, John Lucker

Our intuitions can lead us badly astray in a way that is as surprising as it is straightforward. Kahneman identifies two types of mental processes. “Type 1” mental processes are fairly automatic, effortless and place a premium on “associative coherence.” In contrast, “Type 2” mental processes are controlled, effortful and place a premium on logical coherence. Although we fancy ourselves primarily Type 2 creatures, many … [ Read more ]

Beyond the Numbers: Analytics as a Strategic Capability

Uncovering the realities that lie behind the data is what business analytics is all about. Precisely because they are hidden to the casual observer, they lend competitive advantages to the organizations that discover and implement them in business first.

James Guszcza and John Lucker

Analytics is the science of better decision-making; and decision-making is the heart of business.

Irrational Expectations

Predictive analytics is emerging as a practical discipline, one that can help business leaders make better decisions. In a world whose complexity in many respects has moved beyond our cognitive abilities, numbers are nothing to fear. In fact, they may be your greatest ally.