Backlash on Quantitative Analytics – Not Your Typical Maps

Backlash on Quantitative Analytics

Hi folks!  Ah June… it’s getting warmer, and Spring is wrapping up.  Looking forward to some summer vacation.

I wanted to take a second to pause and reflect on a conversation that I had recently. By all accounts, I’m a data nerd, an analytics nerd, a map nerd, and a geek too.  But at the same time, I think of myself as someone who is very pragmatic (80/20) and tries to get the best answer with the right level of effort (not necessarily the least).

However I recently was on a global call, where some people were talking about data analytics, and how to (and I paraphrase) infuse the work with more analytics.  Now, I’m the first to promote a facts based approach, and a hypothesis based approach to solving business problems.  However sometimes, the “science” only gets you part of the way, and common sense can get you the rest of way. I am not advocate no quants and all common sense (or vice versa), but am suggesting that we have to have a very balanced approach, and always ensure that we know when one needs to take over.

One of the outcomes that I recently came across in a project situation was specifically that this focus on pure facts, pure analytics, pure mathematical determinism lead to a sub-optimal solution as the analyst focused so much on solving one problem that they fully missed the overall client problem (i.e. local optimization with no global optimization).

It may be just the current pendulum swing, but it seems that this 100% quant based approach can lead to less than desirable results.  What do you think?