Keeping it Simple for a Reason

However, data will also exhibit idiosyncrasies that result from the randomness in the process of data sampling and do not say anything about the process that generated them—these idiosyncrasies will disappear if we resample new data from the process. Teasing out the true properties of...
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Take Your Moonshot

“We grew up,” says Verily Chief Executive Officer Andy Conrad. The middle-aged geneticist has adopted the Silicon Valley T-shirt and-flip-flops wardrobe of eternal youth, but he’s given up on a lot of the jargon, including Google’s onetime favorite word. Like some other Alphabet holdings, 500-staffer...
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Project Statistics

Harvey’s term for torturing the data until it confesses is “p-hacking,” a reference to the p-value, a measure of statistical significance. P-hacking is also known as overfitting, data-mining—or data-snooping, the coinage of Andrew Lo, director of MIT’s Laboratory of Financial Engineering. Says Lo: “The more...
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Does anybody listen to you?

Making great things happen at work is about more than just being smart. Good ideas succeed or fail depending on your ability to communicate them correctly to the people who have the power to make them happen. When you are navigating an organization, it pays...
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Preparing To Manage A Trillion-Dollar Mistake

According to a Pentagon history of the F-35, Darpa quietly sought assistance from a research and development arm of Lockheed Martin known as the Skunk Works. By the early 1990s, the Darpa-Skunk Works collaboration had produced preliminary concepts, and the Marine Corps began pressing Congress...
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The Magic of Just Putting a Spotlight on a Problem

The team’s mission is to design policy interventions based on a scientific understanding of human behavior. Recently, for instance, hoping to fight antimicrobial resistance, they tried to persuade some prescription-happy doctors to go easy on the antibiotics. GALLAGHER: We had a very simple intervention, which...
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Murder He Calculated

Threats of federal intervention aside, it will be difficult to fix the problem of high murder rates without first addressing clearance rates. So it’s fortuitous, perhaps, that we are living in an age in which the analysis of data is supposed to help us decipher,...
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Support Bottom-up Innovation It Is Happening With Or Without You

IS researchers have argued enterprise information systems should not be built in a top-down manner but instead facilitate bottom-up innovation. Successful implementation of enterprisewide systems (such as enterprise architecture) will increasingly require negotiation and dialog rather than the imposition of ideas from central IT. This...
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Don’t set a deadline

The first idea is to change your goal structure: don’t set a deadline, set a schedule. Rather than set a goal to read X number of books by the end of the year, set a schedule of when you’ll read. For example, you’ll read 20...
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Use Your Dark Data

In the same way that dark matter is an unseen but very large part of the cosmos (some estimates peg dark matter at 27 percent of the mass of the universe), dark data represents the unseen but very large part of the data that most...
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Lessons Learned From Cancer Treatment Doctors

Over the years, oncologist Barbara McAneny, MD, had grown increasingly frustrated with what hospitals were doing to her patients. Every time chemotherapy complications sent someone to an emergency room, which happens all too often, “they’d come out a little bit worse, each time just another...
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