Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Analytic Heros - You'll Be Suprised!

What do Sherlock Holmes, Adrian Monk, and Shawn Spencer have in common?  Well, yes, they are all fictional detectives, but they are also analytic experts.

Thinking about the definition of analytics (the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data), it makes sense that detectives are at the top of the hero list.

My favorite quote from Sherlock Holmes is "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."  Here Sherlock demonstrates the depth of his understanding of analytics.  The heart of the matter is believing the data will lead you to correct conclusions.

Adrian Monk also puts profound faith in data by way of evidence.  In one TV episode, he proclaims the murderer is a man who has been in a coma.  While everyone one around him disbelieves due to improbability, Monk follows the data.

Finally, Shawn Spencer uses analytics to promote his psychic powers.  He boldly states a dinosaur has killed a victim despite the improbability of that event.  In the end, the data proved him correct.

Do you find you believe the data (evidence) in front of your senses?  In general, we tend to ignore the improbable, despite the evidence.  The very act of estimating improbability makes us all statisticians.  It takes conscience training to overcome our skepticism of improbable data and believe the logical conclusions before us.

Happy sleuthing!


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