Why do we follow data blindly?
Business, June 30th, 2017
Our society has become obsessed with validating everything with numbers before it happens. Products are now produced and refined on the basis of how many people are likely to want something they don’t yet have. Strategies are formed with blind faith that THIS set of numbers is the truth, and THAT set is misleading and misguided.
Yet society still holds the maverick up as the person to admire. We value those who seem to put the numbers to one side and make intuitive leaps and deductions that fly in the face of fashion. We admire people who set aside “what the numbers say” and instead rely on a vision of the world they have created from what they see as its ills, injustices and ineffectiveness.
Without heroes who’ve been willing to take a gamble and sign up to the maxim “build it and they will come” our society would have advanced so much more slowly. So many innovations we take for granted would never have emerged to make our lives easier, better, longer. So many failures would not have happened that helped us find out how not to do something.
By all means use data to inform and influence. Use it to track progress and validate decisions were the right one. But should it be the only influence on your thinking?
I'm a freelance researcher, designer and writer. My clients have included Fintech startups, publishers and digital agencies. You can read more about my work here.
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