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Analytics Aren’t Stupid. Here’s Why.
From The Buxton Co
When Charles Barkley made headlines for his rant against the use of analytics in sports, specifically basketball, he expressed a view that many with a partial understanding of data science hold: there’s no way numbers can tell the whole story.
And you know what, he’s right.
But what Barkley and others like him fail to grasp is that analytics were never intended to replace the expertise acquired through years of training and experience. Analytics should not be used as the final verdict in every decision, but rather should be used to identify potential opportunities and verify “gut instinct.”
When analytical insights are combined with industry experience, the result is supreme confidence in game-changing decisions.
The classic sports example of this is the Oakland A’s, who combined statistical analysis with great scouting to put together a winning team at a fraction of the cost.
But great examples are found in other industries too, including retail, restaurants, healthcare and the public sector.
Real estate executives are combining predictive analytics on great potential store locations with classic “boots on the ground” research to consistently pick high revenue generating locations.
City managers and tourism directors are using analytics to paint a complete picture of their visitor populations, verifying what they knew anecdotally and providing the support needed to make major marketing investment decisions.
And health care organizations are using analytics to identify the type of medical specialty services to offer at specific locations based on population need, and even pinpoint neighborhoods to target with educational resources on topics such as child maltreatment prevention.
When used the way they were intended to be used, analytics can be a game-changer for organizations in any field.
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