11 January 2017 by Rory Vieyra

Instinct vs. Data

Gut-feeling and empirical evidence are the two methods by which people make decisions. But which is better?

Ironically my arguments will probably have no statistical basis and are more biased towards feeling. A knot is tightening in some people's stomachs at the moment, as their inner analyst screams and gestures towards scientific method, engineering processes and mathemetic statistics.

My problem is this: Data does not tell you what to do, it only tells you what is.

Just because you know ten thousand people visited your website and none converted doesn't mean the data will tell you how to fix it.

I wrote this article because I worry these days some companies, especially in marketing say something like 'We used a combination of technological analytics and data capture to make sound empirical judgements.'

Well that sounds great but I think they might just, maybe, perchance be bullshitting a little to sell you the same services they might have had before but now they have a way to show you you're wrong.