However accurate and timely the insight we must not fall victim to the temptation to jump to conclusions. The best analytics tell you what
- Has happened
- Is happening right now]
- Will happen unless you take action.
To survive Homo Sapien is hard wired to quickly use insights and make quick decisions- the instinctive "stay and fight or flee to live an another day" in a dangerous world. Is that sudden movement, perceived outline and accompanying sound:-
- Sabre tooth tiger?
- Harmless prey?
Our reaction is often unconscious, fast and not considered.
When we have the luxury of time to consider and act Cognitive bias constantly gets in the way of facts, dashboards, visualisations and reports. We tend to "follow our nose" rather than be master decision makers.
To be master decision makers we should apply structure to problem solving when your analytics/BI tools flash red alerts or amber warnings. We should logically eliminate all causes that are inconsistent with the visualised facts and/or symptoms of the problem.
The linked article below gives a good framework to achieve this. I also recommend Kepner Tregoe.
Our approach to Problem Analysis and Corrective Action builds upon the development of many effective methods created over the last 35 years. However, instead of configuring the problem-solving event as a causal search process, we use verified business data to logically eliminate all causes that are inconsistent with the observed facts and/or symptoms of the problem. Any inconsistencies or contradictions between the suspected causes and the observed facts render them, (the suspected causes), unlikely. Thus, we use verified observations and facts as a basis for removing many likely causes from further consideration. We often refer to this method of cause analysis as the Sherlock Holmes approach to problem-solving.