Big data on its own is meaningless. Human intuition on its own is deeply flawed and full of blind spots. But taken together, they can help us gain deep insights into complex systems. We can figure out which of many possible strategies is most likely to succeed. It’s not a question of “either/or”, says Michael Slaby, Chief Innovation Officer for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. It’s a question of applying intuition and big data in the ways they work best.
- [Michael Slaby] The reality of, sort of quantification … and big data and analytics and having a … data driven answer to everything. … Balancing that with intuition is less about … an either or question and more about … asking the right questions and … measuring the right things. … Intuition, I think, can be really … important for asking the right questions. … It can be really important for figuring … out a hypothesis, the thing that we want to measure. … The question we need to ask, … the data that we need to go get. … Humans are good at predicting certain things. … We do this all the time, in our daily lives. … Around simple things, like, … we know we're going to be hungry later. … So we do things to make sure we're prepared for that. … We don't necessarily wait for the … hunger signal, to go to the grocery store. … I think we're often bad at extrapolating … our micro-scale experience to larger scales. … And so, what data gives us, is the ability to aggregate. … And it gives us the ability to see larger systems …
This course includes videos from:
Lawrence H. Summers, American economist and Harvard professor
Timothy Geithner, president of Warburg Pincus, a Wall Street private equity firm
Maria Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author (The Confidence Game)
Michael Slaby, global leader in digital and social media strategy, technology, and data analytics
Olivia "Liv" Boeree, poker player, TV presenter, and model
Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.