Home Business Intelligence Beware the Poisonous Positivity of Information: Why Context Issues

Beware the Poisonous Positivity of Information: Why Context Issues

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Beware the Poisonous Positivity of Information: Why Context Issues

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Poisonous positivity? That appears a bit harsh when speaking about information, particularly given that the majority trendy companies aspire to be data-driven in each technique and execution. Certainly, during the last decade or two, information has turn out to be virtually universally thought to be a key company asset and an important enter to high quality decision-making. 

That mentioned, the rising significance of knowledge as an asset has resulted in important overheads being required in its safety. Whether or not we’re speaking about safety, regulatory obligations, or just information integrity, it’s clear that there are many dangers and concern related to information.

In latest instances the idea of knowledge as a legal responsibility has additionally raised its head, albeit often by way of its strategic worth, and what may occur if it was compromised indirectly. The prevailing analogy right here modifications from “information is the brand new oil” to “information is like uranium,” each highly effective and harmful. Savvy information practitioners now realise that governance, whereas by no means horny, has taken on a brand new and heightened significance. 

What efficient information practitioners know: context issues

 

But that’s not fairly what we’re speaking about right here. For me, the concept of poisonous positivity being utilized to information takes two kinds: context and presentation. Likewise, the broader idea of poisonous positivity is a social assemble that appeals to standard tradition and the zeitgeist of in the present day—why wouldn’t it pertain to information? 

Pondering firstly by way of context, it’s simple to see what number of information practitioners turn out to be enamoured with their analyses and stories, and are blinded to extra mundane issues like relevance and affect. The sort of poisonous positivity stems from the concept information is the only (goal) reality and is subsequently unassailable. Overconfidence in your information and algorithms breeds an unwarranted certainty across the insights and might yield fatally flawed choices.

The answer to this drawback is to take care of a wholesome scepticism in the direction of prima facie solutions and to use frequent sense and expertise in equal measure. In a flashback to my administration consulting days, information is used to show or disprove the speculation, not the opposite manner round. 

An AI wake-up name: all the time query the trail of least resistance. 

 

In latest months although, a extra insidious risk to decision-making integrity has emerged, within the type of Generative AI options, and extra particularly their consumer interfaces. The challenges with AI are each many and well-identified, and embrace an absence explainability, poor transparency, and variable information high quality to call a couple of. Much less clearly, a “positivity” drawback now presents itself after we contemplate the shape (or presentation) of AI’s responses—they’re delivered in such a prescriptive and authoritative method, as to silence any debate on their worth or correctness.

Right here is the place the foibles of the expertise have a tendency in the direction of constructive toxicity: engaging, simple solutions which are introduced as compelling and “proper” solutions are the straightforward choice for time-poor analysts or passive perception shoppers. This drawback is far more durable to unravel, primarily as a result of Generative AI has such broad applicability, with no clear signature of its utilization.

Likewise, with none manner of figuring out if solutions are proper or flawed, customers will naturally lean in the direction of the trail of least resistance. Sadly, as soon as headed down this path, it is vitally exhausting for them to show again. 

To get essentially the most worth out of your information, always remember the basics.  

 

The assertions above aren’t meant to query the worth of knowledge, or data-driven decision-making for that matter. The precise information, thoughtfully utilized, can illuminate a choice with new potentialities. Fairly, it’s to spotlight one of many fundamentals of analytical follow which has all the time existed: perceive your online business first, and solely then search related and regarded insights.  

Your enterprise doesn’t exist to “devour insights”; it exists to fulfill buyer wants whereas producing income. The duty of stewardship falls to the considerate information practitioner who understands how insights assist the creativity, productiveness, and tenacity required for enterprise success.

To paraphrase Pablo Picasso’s well-known quote from 1964, “Computer systems are ineffective, they’ll solely offer you solutions.” The enlightened chief (and analyst) spends time asking “why” the analyses matter—they don’t cease at “what” the information says. Most frequently, this behaviour manifests itself in affirmation bias, the place leaders latch onto insights that merely reinforce what they wish to imagine. The continuing public debate surrounding local weather change is a basic instance of this behaviour. 

Poisonous positivity comes within the type of the engaging soapbox spruiker standing on the nook, telling you they’ve all the gorgeous solutions (regardless of the query could also be). At Domo, we wish to encourage “information curiosity” inside our clients—and it’s by no means been extra essential. 




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