Image copyright belongs to Ana Bedacarratz.

What you desperately needed to know about KPI's but never realized you should ask.

When it comes to business decision-making tools, KPI’s are many people’s favorites. They are easy to understand, generally easy to measure, fairly straightforward to interpret in relation to the desired outcome, quick to obtain… and yet they are not particularly well-known for helping improve the organizational performance they are supposed to correlate reliably with.

Why? Because KPI's leave the decision modeling to humans. And as mere humans, we are really bad at changing our minds. This is called confirmation bias. We are champions at making up our minds, and then selectively interpreting information we are presented with in a way…

Image copyright belongs to Ana Bedacarratz.

If you believe the headlines, data is the new oil. The best job rankings have been oscillating between data scientist, machine learning engineer, AI specialist, or something similar for the past decade. It’s Data Wonderland. And just like in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

I mean this as satire of course, but if it wasn’t immediately obvious do go ahead and read the original exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat so you can appreciate its genius before I explain my own joke (and ruin it). …

Image source: Stockvault.

You heard it everywhere: “Garbage in, Garbage out.” Models that are based on bad data lead to bad decisions. Yet it seems we can’t do away with bad data. How did we get here, and is the data really to blame?

Data, of course, does not materialize out of thin air. However, it appears few companies are being intentional about the data they collect, or set off with a clear purpose in mind in terms of the statistics or analytics they will apply to that data, in order to answer what questions. Instead, most “big data” in existence seems to…

Ana Bedacarratz

Data scientist with a background in behavioral & cognitive science.

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