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True analytics - the future of decision making?

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy October 21, 2014
Summary:
Holger Mueller and I discuss the concept of true analytics, what it means and how it is being applied. This will be an ongoing discussion with my focus on the human element.

The other week, Holger Mueller penned a position piece on the topic of 'true analytics.' It's a subject I have riffed upon, taking the view that in allowing analytics to lead into actions, we risk losing the ability to retain creativity. Mueller doesn't see it that way, arguing that we can still have choices.

This week, I sat down with Mueller to explore what he means and make a start on what I hope will be a robust conversation in the coming months.

In this video, Mueller and I discuss what this means. He sets out his vision which, as it turns out, does not need to exclude the human element but which can improve our ability to take optimal decisions. He argues that our decisions today are much better served with action based analysis where the results of an analysis lead to the 'machines' either taking actions on our behalf, for example ABS braking, or which can suggest alternative scenarios such as restaurant choices.

Many of the examples Mueller provides are those where we can agree that it is relatively easy to discover patterns that can be replicated with a reasonable degree of certainty and which therefore can be easily trusted.

However, it is in the area of analysis that impacts people directly where there is much uncertainty. The example of understanding an available talent pool is one where I think we run the risk of making the wrong decisions at our peril. This could be as simple as excluding from interview candidates that would hold potential for a job that is not immediately apparent from the Talent Management review system. In these cases, there is no going back and that's not so good.

But what do you think? Has Mueller got it right or do we run the risk of making poorer decisions in the wake of overly trusting the machines?

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