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Focus on Data "Outsights" not Data Insights





In World War II Abraham Wald first used
"outsights" to recommend where armour
should be added to bombers

Do you agree with - "Data Insights are interesting but of little help"?

Controversial, but it is backed by Oracle research finding that 95% of business leaders struggle with decisions despite having more data.   

Why is this the case, when we are told data analytics will inform our decisions.  This article demonstrates that missing data is often more important than the actual data. This is what we call "data outsights"

Rethinking the bullet hole survey

The analysis of bullet holes in aircraft returning from World War II missions was conducted to determine the optimal placement of armour to enhance aircraft survivability. 

Abraham Wald noted that the aircraft returning had survived the reported damage. He redirected attention to the fact that those damaged in the unreported areas were the aircraft that failed to return.

Data insights was the reported damage. Data outsights was the missing data.
Outsights involve the real world of incomplete knowledge critical to consequential decisions yet missing from corporate dashboards.

Why Outsights are critical in decision making

Data vendors have pushed for a long time that data driven decision was the panacea of decision making. It has driven a $270bn market. Yet what data vendors fail to produce is the outsights most critical to business success.

Do you want to know "why a sale was lost" or "what sales were made"

In sales, the most important data is why sales are lost. Did you lose on price, service, features, etc.  So why do we always survey those who bought and never those who did not. Why are all the dashboards, about sales, but never about lost sales. 

Outsights are the colour to the facts.  It is about context, intuition, instincts, rumour, guessing, and all the intangible pieces of knowledge that distinguish great leaders from the rest.  Why is this important? You will never have the complete knowledge to make a decision.

Humanizing decision making

At DxLabs, we focus on Decision Experience. How we can humanize decision making so that you can get better outcomes from the talented people in your organization. In a world where we are drowning people in data and AI, it is time organizations took time to nurture how the human brain thinks.  To tap into the capabilities of the human brain to evaluate the unknown based on incomplete knowledge.

Ultimately it is a human being that makes the final decision, and it is a human being that is accountable for the decisions going wrong. If we do not focus on supporting the way the human mind processes decisions, then we will continue to see the high levels of decision paralysis that we see in the Oracle survey.