A series of emails and skype calls today built up a head of frustration with some people’s obsession with statistics and data. An obsession that attempts a substitution for sense-making, rather than as a tool to support it. One conversation with a research head of a British local authority who had been passed a HBR article which said data was more accurate than human judgement in recruitment and sooner or later all recruitment would be a big data algorithm. Another with a colleague frustrated by people talking about the validity of statistical patterns for low volume datasets and not realising that simple visualisation can enable an intelligent person who make sufficient sense to act. Then there were a series of calls wondering what number made a data set valid, the question seeking some absolute statement independent of context.
There are a few things we are missing here in particular the question of human judgement. We need a conceptual reset, a wider perspective: indeed a total perspective vortex is an appealing location for some people. nbsp;So let me put forward some simple statements, just short of a round dozen:
I could add more but that is enough to be going on with. And with the theme of judgement a warning about fate in the opening picture, although I reserve the right to be more reasonable under questioning.
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