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February 6th, 2013

Big Data and Why Mindset Matters

By Ron Nakamoto

I found the article below very interesting.  Although I understand why the author uses the story in order to talk about politicians and conclude that they make poor decisions (did we need statistics to arrive at that one?), I think that there some other takeaways related to decision-making.  Big Data and analytics are a current rage (think about President Obama's election victory over Mitt Romney). Some decisions really lend themselves to "Big Data"-style analytics.  But what if there's no relevant data?  Here's where mindset matters.  This is especially true when it comes to entrepreneurial endeavors and families where statistics and large data sets are sparse and perhaps only randomly correlated to specific, unique situations.

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A Short Lesson in Bad Decision-Making
In business school I had to take an introductory class in statistics that we colloquially called “D&D.” The official course name was Data & Decision-making. In retrospect, it was a t…

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