Author Archives: Gary Thompson

Gators, Golf Balls and Intuition

During a conversation last week, a friend of mine asked if I’ve read Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking Fast and Slow,” which explores the process of thinking. This raises the age-old debate of whether to rely on intuition in making a … Continue reading

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Skills analysis?

As the volume and availability of data continue to expand while their costs decrease, so do companies continue to seek to use this growing body of information to their advantage. Assessing the skill sets of potential hires is one area … Continue reading

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Cool charts? Says who?

A number of years ago I attended a day-long seminar on information design provided by the renowned expert, Edward Tufte. While I admire and have great respect for his work, I took exception to a couple of his comments. “There … Continue reading

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What’s your analytical composition?

Gene Zelazny, the former McKinsey communications specialist, in his book Say It With Charts, claims that in our analysis we are really making only one of five types of comparisons: 1. Time Series: How a variable changes with time 2. … Continue reading

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Poor writing leads to war!

The importance of brevity and clarity in our presentations can’t be overstated. On July 25, 1918, Serbia responded to a set of ten demands from Austria-Hungary stemming from the assassination of the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand. As G.J. Meyer writes … Continue reading

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The laborious (and valuable) task of data preparation

In my last two analytical posts (the past two Mondays), I emphasized the challenges inherent in designing the analyses necessary to prove or disprove our ideas. My overarching point was that rarely does data and analysis align perfectly in a … Continue reading

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Charts: Sticking to the basics

I appreciate elegant design. And I enjoy trying something new. But when it comes to the construction of charts, sticking to basics is almost always the right answer. And for that, I always turn to Gene Zelazny’s classic book, “Say … Continue reading

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Analytical proofs (Part II)

In my last post I claimed that defining the analyses required to prove or disprove an idea is often far more difficult than it might first appear. As food-for-thought, I then suggested you consider how to test the idea that … Continue reading

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“Prove it!”

This is the default mindset of the analytically oriented. Their beliefs are based on facts and calculations, not instincts and assumptions. They are suspicious and skeptical, in a healthy sort of way. They demand a higher burden of proof. The … Continue reading

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Horrible Bosses

No, not the movie, but the real world kind. “I hate my boss,” my son, a teenager working at a local fast-food restaurant, recently said to me. “He ‘s condescending. And he rides me for every mistake, even the smallest … Continue reading

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