Category Archives: Problem Solving

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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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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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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“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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Do we have Big Data backwards?

A client recently shared an article from Supply Chain Management outlining five leading Supply Chain trends. The fifth trend was the increasing importance of “Big Data.” And while not spelled out specifically by the author, the first four trends are … Continue reading

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Working the data to find the needle in the haystack

“That was a fun exercise. But we never have data like that in the real world.” So said a participant in one of one of my recent workshops on Problem Solving, referring to a data field that allowed him to … Continue reading

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What do you do with expert advice?

The week before last on American Idol, Tommy Hilfiger was brought on to the show to provide fashion advice to the contestants. As usual, industry icon Jimmy Iovine, was there to offer musical wisdom. Tommy did not approve of the … Continue reading

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“…but if I leave that data out, I get….”

As March draws to a close, so do my posts on histograms. There are two important benefits of using histograms still to cover. The first is in identifying extreme data. Histograms help us quickly see these points – and the … Continue reading

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