Our #1 fear: Withering under scrutiny.
photo of Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld was wrong when he claimed public speaking is our #1 fear. I’m pretty sure we’re more afraid of having our decisions scrutinized. Adding to the fun, now algorithmic decisions are under pressure too. It is rather painful to have decisions second-guessed before the numbers come in, and even worse if things go pear-shaped. […]

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Don’t build a data department store.
shopper looking thru department store merchandise

To paraphrase Raymond Chandler, too many projects deliver department store data: The most of everything but the best of nothing. Enterprise AI and analytics developers must avoid the mistake of underserving people by overengineering solutions. Designers and decision makers need straightforward tools to make them better, to save time and facilitate their best work. They […]

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The skill set for explaining, XAI, and why they both matter.

As data complexity grows, so does the importance of explaining. The philosophy of science can teach us about the role of explaining in high-quality, evidence-based decisions. It’s not just navel-gazing: An explanation is a statement that makes something clear, or a reason or justification given for an action or belief. It describes “a set of […]

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Are you quantamental? Should you be?
quantamentalist, man holding playing card

Quantamental is an investment strategy combining quantitative and fundamental methods. Data and algorithms have “prompted many traditional fundamentals-centered discretionary funds to integrate data-driven tools in day-to-day decision-making.” MarketWatch says the quantamental merger of computing power and human expertise is investing’s next frontier. Example: Active trading based on a particular blend of conventional balance sheets and […]

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PitchLab shows how to present complex technology.

Present everything better! As co-organizer of the meetups Papers We Love – Denver and Domain-Driven Design – Denver, I was delighted to co-host PitchLab for a talk on presentation skills. Jay Mays and Keefer Caid-Loos did an excellent job explaining how to connect with your audience. Participants were engaged, and appreciated PitchLab’s approachable, ask-me-anything attitude. The […]

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Evaluate your decision process separately from your outcomes.
Building trust in the decision process

How we decide is no less important than the data we use to decide. People are recognizing this and creating innovative ways to blend what, why, and how into decision processes. 1. Apply behavioral science → Less cognitive bias McKinsey experts offer excellent insight into Behavioral science in business: Nudging, debiasing, and managing the irrational […]

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What makes us trust analytics, and how to argue.
fox

1. Prior experience → More trust In Trustworthy Data Analysis, Roger Peng gives an elegant description of how he evaluates analytics presentations, and what factors influence his trust level. First, he imagines analytical work in three buckets: A (the material presented), B (work done but not presented), and C (analytical work not done). “We can […]

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Weaponizing KPIs and debiasing decision algorithms.

1. Vigilance → Better algorithms “Eliminating bias… requires constant vigilance on the part of not only data scientists but up and down the corporate ranks.” In an insightful Information Week commentary, James Kobielus (@jameskobielus) considers the importance of Debiasing Our Statistical Algorithms Down to Their Roots. “Rest assured that AI, machine learning, and other statistical […]

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What cancer decision trees can teach us.
prostatecancerdecision.org

Suppose you’ve gotten a cancer diagnosis. Would your business experience help you navigate the care pathway? Larry Neal describes how he applied his Decision Analysis skills to prostate treatment in Eight Lessons from a Decision Professional’s Cancer Decision. When a physician said Neal had a 30% chance of having cancer, but his analysis suggested 95-99%, […]

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Debiasing is painful, why analytics fail, and health app evidence.

1. Debiasing → Better decisions Debiasing is hard work, requiring honest communication and occasional stomach upset. But it gets easier and can become a habit, especially if people have a systematic way of checking their decisions for bias. In this podcast and interview transcript, Nobel-winning Richard Thaler explains several practical ways to debias decisions. First, […]

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