All Analytics Academy
The Internet of Things Joins the Enterprise

Jun 9 - Jun 23
Join 5 interactive classes & chat with peers
 
Bryan Beverly

A Skeptic's Guide to Analytic Results

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Broadway
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Respectfully pushing back
Broadway   2/12/2014 8:07:24 PM
NO RATINGS
I would add a couple additional "leadership" animals --- the snake, the passive-aggressive types who will destroy you when you turn your back on them, and the vultures, who wait out all the foxes and lions and pick their carcasses after the fight. 

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Respectfully pushing back
bkbeverly   2/12/2014 5:04:09 PM
NO RATINGS
@Broadway, I greatly admire your optimism; I used to think just like that when I younger. It's wonderful to be a middle-aged person, but the downside is that time has a way of making one a skeptic. I agree that over time, work places will be less combat-oriented. I think that the gradual increase in women in the white-collar labor force is slowly forcing work place culture to be less Spartan-like (or at least the lawyers are doing that). But your hopes for a better day remind me of Vilfredo Pareto's theory of the circulation of elites. He said that leadership styles cycle through periods of lions (traditional male brute force and intimidation) and foxes (people who can covertly manipulate, massage and convince people to do their bidding). I can see a day when cultures are kinder and gentler. But I would warn you that whether you work with lions or foxes, the outcome for the slow and weak will be the same. Foxes are just as predatory as lions, they just are kinder and gentler in their approach. But ultimately, the goal is to 'do you in'; a soft approach but just as deadly. So keep your whether combative or diplomatic, keep your skepticism radar up - trust but verify!

Broadway
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Respectfully pushing back
Broadway   2/11/2014 10:55:47 PM
NO RATINGS
@bkbeverly, you are right. Some "old dogs" still like to fight like young pups. And there are still plenty of dogs that will wait till your not looking and will nip at your heels. One day all company cultures will be kinder and gentler but until then ...

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: And then there is bias
bkbeverly   2/11/2014 10:14:15 AM
NO RATINGS
Meta, Could not agree with you more. Bias is a chronic problem in sampling. As in the case you mentioned, it was a random sample of people with at least a BA/BS degree. Bias is also a problem in survey design and reporting. People with advanced degrees tend to write to the level of their peers. Some of these survey results represent a 'privileged class' and not the thoughts of Joe or Jane Lunchbucket. Nothing wrong with that as long as you state that the external validity applies to white collar professionals. When your colleagues, neighbors and Facebook friends are in the same socioeconomic status groups, then one's perception of applicable analytical truths is skewed. Not intentional, not malicious, but innate and habitual. When the only people in your circle of associations are like you, then the assumptions or assertions you make should be 'viewed with a jaundiced eye'. Good observation (as always).

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Respectfully pushing back
bkbeverly   2/10/2014 4:36:59 PM
NO RATINGS
@Broadway - Not a specific event. Just a gradual realization that it was a hollow victory to attack a person and not constructively work toward refining ideas. Particularly since many environments are charged with testosterone, challenging a coworker or a superior that you wanted to knock off was expected. When you were a young pup, you wanted to prove that you were ready to be a big dog. But when you are a young pup, you do not know that every big dog one day becomes an old dog. No not a specific incident in this case - just a gradual maturing. Every one grows old, but some never grow up; there are some gray haired babies whose insecurities find it better to reaffirm themselves by attacking others rather than preserving the dignity of others and helping them to shape their ideas. It is nothing wrong with being a skeptic, but it can turn out wrong if it is done the wrong way for the wrong reason. So all that to say is that these are the lessons learned from an old dog. I can't learn any new tricks, but I know when someone is trying to play them.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: healthy skepticism
BethSchultz   2/10/2014 9:18:00 AM
NO RATINGS
From your blog post to a real-world example of healthy skepticism. Perfect!

Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
And then there is bias
Meta S. Brown   2/10/2014 9:12:14 AM
NO RATINGS
Bryan,

I love this post - these are terrific points, and all should be taken into account!

May I also add that we should examine methods for signs of plain old ordinary bias? For example, I've seen a number of posts recently about a data science salary survey. Most of the posts push the value of certain skills, based on the survey results.

A quick review of the survey report reveals that all the respondents were attendees of one particular conference. That conference focuses on certain specific skills, and certain types of applications. It's by no means a representative sample of the analytics community, or even the "data science" community as a whole. It's a biased sample, and it's obvious that nobody even tried to eliminate bias when planning the survey.

Alas, that's a common problem.

Broadway
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Respectfully pushing back
Broadway   2/9/2014 11:39:09 PM
NO RATINGS
@bkbeverly, was there a specific event that flicked on the light bulb?

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Respectfully pushing back
bkbeverly   2/8/2014 7:48:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Broadway, I used to be one of those persons! In an academic environment, that is the way of life. It feeds the ego when you think you have won a round of one-upsmanship. But over the years, I learned that it is better to make colleagues than enemies. In fact, "there are no permanent friends and there are no permanent enemies, but there are permanent interests". The person you intellectually attack today may be a needed friend tomorrow. And since all of us have strengths and weaknesses, you really gain nothing by seeking to show up someone because what goes around comes around. So over the years, I found it more constructive to question the range of options rather than attack a person. Oh I am quite tempted sometimes when someone else makes a first strike at me; the natural response is to hit back. And even then I have to quickly assess if the statement is personal or professional. Cannot say that I always respond like a grown up. But I do try not to initiate conflict. So yes, I try these days to take a softer approach, but oh no, that is not how I started out.

Broadway
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Respectfully pushing back
Broadway   2/8/2014 6:22:15 PM
NO RATINGS
@bkbeverly, granted I was in grad school nearly 15 years ago and it was for a liberal arts degree, but back then students and teachers didn't question -- they always accused and attacked. Why is this relevant? Etc. etc. perhaps it was the culture of that school.

Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Information Resources
More Blogs from Bryan Beverly
Like prophets of old, today's data scientists have to carve out a role that sometimes supports and sometimes challenges the edicts of those in power. It means that those data scientists often have to weigh political considerations when presenting data that runs counter to the beliefs and goals of today's kings of business.
Even 300 years ago analytics were being used to test long-held beliefs, which even in the business world today can make you weigh the fact versus belief issue.
So you want to be a data scientist. Understand why and how you want to make the move.
None is superior to the others; nor are they mutually exclusive.
Does the very nature of a CIO's work doom him or her to a provider class that can never achieve the CEO's office?
Radio Show
Radio Shows
UPCOMING
James M. Connolly
Finding Answers Through Prescriptive Analytics


7/21/2015   REGISTER   0
UPCOMING
James M. Connolly
Health Analytics: Find Data Beyond the Hospital Doors


7/28/2015   REGISTER   0
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Visualization: How to Bring Data to Life


6/22/2015  LISTEN   55
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Learn Why Analytics Are at Home in the Cloud


6/15/2015  LISTEN   26
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Analytics: Your Defense Against Cyber Threats


5/27/2015  LISTEN   60
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Big Data & Big Pharma: How Analytics Might Save Your Life


5/19/2015  LISTEN   37
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Live Interviews From SAS Global Forum


4/28/2015  LISTEN   11
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
How to Hire Great Analytics Talent


4/23/2015  LISTEN   51
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Sports Analytics Mean Fun and Business


3/24/2015  LISTEN   3
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Secure Your Big Data in the Cloud


2/26/2015  LISTEN   114
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Make It Big As a Data Scientist in 2015


2/11/2015  LISTEN   106
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Big Data, Decisions & the Simulated Experience


2/3/2015  LISTEN   87
Information Resources
Quick Poll
Quick Poll
Infographic
Infographic
It Pays to Keep Insurance Fraud in Check
While 97% of insurers say that insurance fraud has increased or remained the same in the past two years, most of those companies report benefits from anti-fraud technology in limiting the impact of fraud, including higher quality referrals, the ability to uncover organized fraud, and improve efficiency for investigators.
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  Register  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  RSS