There was a time when all you needed to succeed was a handshake and a smile. Or, so they say. But the way of the world now is data.
I recently rewatched Moneyball, the 2011 film starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. It depicts the Oakland A’s 2002 season, which manager Bille Beane based largely on statistical analysis vs. traditional roster-building. Data replaced the common practice of what was seemingly gut instinct on what the players were capable of. The film was from the book of the same name, written by Michael Lewis.
Nearly all organizations currently in business perform some kind of data analysis. Sales figures vs. previous year. Inventory on-hand and shrinkage. Performance metrics and average call times. All these are important when figuring value vs. cost.
And while the numbers don’t lie, they may fail to reveal certain aspects of the human element. Even when following all the prevailing wisdom that the data can provide, you still have to make decisions based on the preferred outcome.