3 Questions to Get the Most Out of Your Company’s Data

James Allworth, Maxwell Wessel, Aaron Levie, Harvard Business Review, Jan 29, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I love the way the first paragraph of this article cuts straight through to the heart of the issue in a manner that is compelling and evocative. I won't spoil it for you. It's just cracking good writing, and I appreciate that. The article as a whole is less about the three questions and more about the idea that data-driven decisions can be more reliable than human intuition. Of course, I think that human intuition is driven by data, and that it's largely a matter of exposing it to the right information (ie: a discussion between you and your buddies in the s-suite isn't going to cut it). And additionally, data-decision decision-making is more effective when dealing with mass, not individuals. Netflix doesn't care about the 5 percent of users who hate all of its new original series, because they can make an excellent return on the remaining 95 percent. But in disciplines like education and health care, we can't afford to simply throw the 5 percent under the bus. And data leaves us guessing in these cases.

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