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Analytics have zero value -- until they inform a decision

As a decision analyst, it is delightful to see all the excitement about the ever-increasing amounts of data available. But, when I see much of what data scientists are doing to find interesting patterns (descriptive analytics is just looking in the rear view mirros) and forecasting (predictive analytics, ideally our GPS), I see little attention paid to the real business decisions that might be informed by these insights (the decision analytics, helping our clients steer a better course).

Decision analysis tells us that data, and the interesting patterns we may find in it, have zero practical value until they inform decisions made in the real world. Many of us give lip service to being in the business of decisions.  But, how much of your professional work is about understanding and addressing real business decisions vs. just finding insights in the data?  Could we give more value to our clients by shifting the balance a bit more towards decision analysis?

What do you think?

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Tags: analysis, analytics, business, decision, decisions, making


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Comment by Jean-François Puget on August 20, 2015 at 2:54am

I couldn't agree more, see The Role Of Datascience.

Comment by Tajinder Pal on April 20, 2015 at 4:28am

Aptly depicted.... 

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