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Much ado about a dress: how perception skews interpretation

March 1, 2015


This week generated a meme which nearly melted the internet: the case of the gold or blue dress. A picture of dress worn at a wedding was seen by some people as being gold and white and others as blue and black. A riotous global argument that cast friends and lovers against one another ensued. While […]

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Manager-machine: analytics, artificial intelligence, and the uncertain future of management

October 7, 2014



As many traditional industrial age business functions become subject to disintermediation by automation and expert analytics systems, new industries and value propositions will need to be framed by an emerging generation of leaders.

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When analytics fails: fueled by randomness

July 15, 2014


Fueled by randomness

As an analytics professional, it may perhaps be no surprise that I believe in a world which is susceptible to analysis – a world which yields to scientific inquiry. Further, I believe that if we invest effort, if we exert what Kahneman would call our System 2, we can improve decisions and overcome our tendency […]

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Our Magical Minds Redux

May 21, 2014

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A link to a good article proposing that our minds evolved to see patterns and significance, predisposing us to magical and superstitious beliefs: This supports the notion that a major challenge in data science is overcoming our inbuilt behavioral predispositions, for instance the tendency to overfit data samples or to conflate correlation with causation. […]

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Introduction to Business Analytics

May 19, 2014

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Recent lecture ‘Introduction to Analytics’ given to Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management MBA and MIS students: Summary overview Part 1 of 4: Part 2 of 4: Part 3 of 4: Part 4 of 4:

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TedX: Data Science and Our Magical Minds

December 15, 2013

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A TedX talk I gave November 18th 2013 in Rotterdam, Netherlands at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). This talk distills many of the thoughts discussed in this blog. If you like it, please forward!

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Analytics and Belief: The Struggle for Truth

September 8, 2013

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Increasingly sophisticated analytics tools and methods are available to derive business insight from data.  However, as a discipline which drives insight from data, the crucial ‘last step’ in the analytics process is about organizational decision making.  A sophisticated, intensive analysis may all be for naught if the crucial last step, framing and committing to a decision, misses the […]

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Correlation versus Causation: The Science, Art, and Magic of Experimental Design

August 17, 2013



Recently I was chastised for being ‘unnecessarily obscure’ for reacting to a specious conclusion by suggesting that it risked ‘conflating correlation with causation’. Guilty as charged!  I apologize:  the expression is quite a mouthful and requires unraveling for those unfamiliar with the nuances of the applied experimental method.  However, I feel passionately that this concept […]

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Adopting Analytics Culture: 6. What information is gained from social network analysis? (6 of 7)

June 17, 2013


social network

PART 6 OF 7 IN A SERIES ON ADOPTING ANALYTICS CULTURE LINK TO HEADER ARTICLE LINK TO PREVIOUS ARTICLE (5 of 7) 6.    What particular information is gained from social network analysis and how is it interpreted? To recap, we have established that adopting analytics culture requires organizational change management.  Beyond analytics technology and expertise, […]

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Business analytics model risk (part 0 of 5): framing model risk – the complexity genie and the challenge of deciding on decision models

June 13, 2013


Model Risk

Business analytics model risk (part 0 of 5): framing model risk – the complexity genie and the challenge of deciding on decision models Introduction to a series of five articles on model risk Here we introduce a series of five articles seeking to frame, define, and categorize business analytics model risk.  The intention is to […]

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