Principle: Fight Cognitive Bias With Data

As humans, we are often sure that we’re right and others are wrong. That’s because we all suffer from cognitive bias.

At least two people got a Nobel prize for proving to the world that we jump to conclusions and act without thinking most of the time. We do it based on the subconscious. Thousands of years ago, making decisions that way would save us from predators, but today it puts us in severe social jeopardy. It’s better to recognize this reality and take it into account when we judge our and other people’s behavior and decision making.

The best way to work around cognitive bias is with data and analysis. Design your functions and processes to collect as much data as possible, and use analysis to learn what’s working and what’s not. Use collected data and analysis when you need to decide. Don’t base your choice solely on data, but don’t decide without consulting the data and using sound analysis.

Looking at reports that are running sophisticated algorithms is not analyzing data; it is looking at data. Use the raw data and examine it by yourself to reach your understanding. It takes more time from one side, but it ensures a better decision making on the other side.

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