Are you quantamental? Should you be?
quantamentalist, man holding playing card

Quantamental is an investment strategy combining quantitative and fundamental methods. Data and algorithms have “prompted many traditional fundamentals-centered discretionary funds to integrate data-driven tools in day-to-day decision-making.” MarketWatch says the quantamental merger of computing power and human expertise is investing’s next frontier. Example: Active trading based on a particular blend of conventional balance sheets and […]

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The skill set for explaining, XAI, and why they both matter.

As data complexity grows, so does the importance of explaining. The philosophy of science can teach us about the role of explaining in high-quality, evidence-based decisions. It’s not just navel-gazing: An explanation is a statement that makes something clear, or a reason or justification given for an action or belief. It describes “a set of […]

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But where is the decision? Data visualizations don’t show the why and how.
data visualization of crime statistics using Tableau

Technology helps us discover meaningful patterns: Buying behavior, criminal activity, health effects. But when we succumb to pretty pictures and mindless measurement, shiny data fails to help answer important questions. Source: Tableau. This data visualization tool would be great for someone seeking crime stats – say, for law enforcement or house buying. But it doesn’t […]

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Papers We Love: Judgment Under Uncertainty / Cognitive Bias

Our founder, Tracy Allison Altman, will talk about cognitive bias and behavioral economics for software design @ Papers We Love – Denver. Tversky and Kahneman’s classic “Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases” challenged conventional thinking about bias in decision making, inspiring new approaches to cognitive science, choice architecture, public policy, and the underlying technology. Join […]

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Underwriters + algorithms, avoiding bad choices, and evidence for rare illness.
heart rate monitor

1. Underwriters + algorithms = Best of both worlds. We hear so much about machine automation replacing humans. But several promising applications are designed to supplement complex human knowledge and guide decisions, not replace them: Think primary care physicians, policy makers, or underwriters. Leslie Scism writes in the Wall Street Journal that AIG “pairs its […]

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False dichotomy: Data-driven vs. gut-feel
photo of people grouped together

Smart decision-making is more complicated than becoming ‘data-driven’, whatever that means exactly. We know people can make better decisions if they consider relevant evidence, and that process is getting easier. But too often tech enthusiasts dismiss people’s decisions as based on gut feel, as if data will save us from ourselves. Let’s put an end to […]

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Don’t show me the evidence. Show me how you weighed the evidence.
calculator saying I don't Know

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that if people just had access to all the relevant data, then the right decision – and better outcomes – would surely follow. Of course we know that’s not the case. A number of things block a clear path from evidence to decision to outcome. Evidence can’t speak for […]

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Choices, policy, and evidence-based investment.
bad arguments

1. Bad Arguments → Bad Choices Great news. There will be a follow-on to the excellent Bad Arguments book by @alialmossawi. The book of Bad Choices will be released this April by major publishers. You can preorder now. 2. Evidence-based decisions → Effective policy outcomes The conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, is advocating for evidence-based […]

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10 Years After Ioannidis, speedy decision habits, and the peril of whether or not.

1. Much has happened since Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, the much-discussed PLOS essay by John P. A. Ioannidis offering evidence that “false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims….” Why are so many findings never replicated? Ioannidis listed study power and bias, the number of […]

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How women decide, and Chief Cognitive Officers.
photo of girls playing baseketball

1. Do we judge women’s decisions differently? Cognitive psychologist Therese Huston’s book is How Women Decide: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices. It may sound unscientific to suggest there’s a particular way that several billion people make decisions, but the author doesn’t seem nonchalant about drawing specific conclusions. The book […]

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