Bad logic=bad decisions, evidence-based youth programs, and a fresh hell of confusing numbers.

1. Bad logic → Bad arguments → Bad decisions The Book of Bad Arguments is a simple explanation of common logical flaws / barriers to successful, evidence-based decisions. This beautifully illustrated work by Ali Almossawi (@AliAlmossawi) should be on everyone’s bookshelf. Now available in several languages. 2. Home visits for children → Lifelong benefits → […]

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Mistakes we make, Evidence Index, and Lebron vs Steph.

1. Mistakes we make when sharing insights. We’ve all done this: Hurried to share valuable, new information and neglected to frame it meaningfully, thus slowing the impact and possibly alienating our audience. Michael Shrage describes a perfect example, taken from The Only Rule Is It Has to Work, a fantastic book about analytics innovation. The […]

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How women decide, and Chief Cognitive Officers.
photo of girls playing baseketball

1. Do we judge women’s decisions differently? Cognitive psychologist Therese Huston’s book is How Women Decide: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices. It may sound unscientific to suggest there’s a particular way that several billion people make decisions, but the author doesn’t seem nonchalant about drawing specific conclusions. The book […]

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Magical thinking about ev-gen, your TA is a bot, and Foursquare predicts stuff really well.
magical thinking forest

1. Magical thinking about ev-gen. Rachel E. Sherman, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert M. Califf, M.D. of the US FDA have described what is needed to develop an evidence generation system – and must be playing a really long game. “The result? Researchers will be able to distill the data into actionable evidence that can ultimately […]

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Getting to evidence-based policy: Explainista, Randomista, or Mapista?
photo of people grouped together

Three Ways of Getting to Evidence-Based Policy. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bernadette Wright (@MeaningflEvdenc) does a nice job of describing three ideologies for gathering evidence to inform policy. Randomista: Views randomized experiments and quasi-experimental research designs as the only reliable evidence for choosing programs. Explainista: Believes useful evidence needs to provide trustworthy data […]

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Masters of self-deception, rapid systematic reviews, and Gauss v. Legendre.
photo of stadium seats

1. Human fallibility → Debiasing techniques → Better science Don’t miss Regina Nuzzo’s fantastic analysis in Nature: How scientists trick themselves, and how they can stop. @ReginaNuzzo explains why people are masters of self-deception, and how cognitive biases interfere with rigorous findings. Making things worse are a flawed science publishing process and “performance enhancing” statistical […]

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Analytics of presentations, Game of Thrones graph theory, and decision quality.

1. Edges, dragons, and imps. Network analysis reveals that Tyrion is the true protagonist of Game of Thrones. Fans already knew, but it’s cool that the graph confirms it. This Math Horizons article is a nice introduction to graph theory: edges, betweeness, and other concepts.   2. Teach your team to make high-quality decisions. Few of […]

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NBA heat maps, FICO vs Facebook, and peer review.
NBA heatmap Steph Curry 2016

1. Resistance is futile. You must watch Steph Curry. The Golden State Warriors grow more irresistible every year, in large part because of Curry’s shooting. With sports data analytics from Basketball-Reference.com, these heat maps illustrate his shift to 3-pointers (and leave no doubt why Curry was called the Babyfaced Assassin; now of course he’s simply […]

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‘Evidence-based’ is a thing. It was a very good year.
evidence-based social innovation

2015 was kind to the ‘evidence-based’ movement. Leaders in important sectors – ranging from healthcare to education policy – are adopting standardized, rigorous methods for data gathering, analytics, and decision making. Evaluation of interventions will never be the same. With so much data available, it’s a non-stop effort to pinpoint which sources possess the validity, […]

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