The myth of the data driven decision maker

A LinkedIn search reveals 2.64 million profiles that refer to themselves as “data driven”. I believe a true data driven decision is about as common as getting struck by lightning. We are human beings. Our decisions are shaped by our beliefs, biases, and emotions. We use data and logic to justify our decisions.

Not convinced? Let’s say you agreed to make a decision based on data; 60% or higher we move forward, otherwise we stop. The data comes back as 59.7%. What is you initial gut response?

  • “I knew it. This was a bad idea; I have been saying this all along.” or
  • “This will be rounded up to 60%. This proves it works as expected. Let’s go for it!”

The data is the same. The only difference is your reaction, based on your preferred outcome.

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