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Sat, Dec 3, 2016 01:43
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Too much data?

 

Jim,

As always,  I enjoyed your recent ‘Nip Impressions’ on data.  I was reminded of something that Lee Iacocca  talked about in his somewhat self-effacing autobiography regarding decision-making; he contended that the true essence of good decision-making was knowing when one had enough data to make a good decision.  His point was that most anyone could make good decisions if they had 100% of the data, but generally if one waited to gather all that data and then organize it and study it, the decision was no longer timely to the point that a competitor had probably already made the decision unnecessary.  If the person made the decision with inadequate information, then the probability of the decision being based on data that wasn’t reflective of reality was higher and, again, the competitor with a better decision-making method would avoid a bad decision and its effects.

As you point out, today’s ability to collect data helps decision making as long as the decision-maker can separate good data from bad data and then can use available tools to help organize the good data into trends, groups, and such that will point to the alternatives and finally the best resolution.  It’s in these processes where  the decision-maker’s experiences, skills, and intuitive expertise comes into play.  Like you, I believe that replacing these talents is more difficult than collecting and storing data.

Ed Turner

Camden, North Carolina, USA

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