What cancer decision trees can teach us.
Debiasing is painful, why analytics fail, and health app evidence.
Suppose you’ve gotten a cancer diagnosis. Would your business experience help you navigate the care pathway? Larry Neal describes how he applied his Decision Analysis skills to prostate treatment in Eight Lessons from a Decision Professional’s Cancer Decision. When a physician said Neal had a 30% chance of having cancer, but his analysis suggested 95-99%, […]
Long-term thinking, systems of intelligence, and the dangers of sloppy evidence.
1. Debiasing → Better decisions Debiasing is hard work, requiring honest communication and occasional stomach upset. But it gets easier and can become a habit, especially if people have a systematic way of checking their decisions for bias. In this podcast and interview transcript, Nobel-winning Richard Thaler explains several practical ways to debias decisions. First, […]
Underwriters + algorithms, avoiding bad choices, and evidence for rare illness.
1. Long view → Better financial performance. A McKinsey Global Institute team sought hard evidence supporting their observation that “Companies deliver superior results when executives manage for long-term value creation,” resisting pressure to focus on quarterly earnings (think Amazon or Unilever). So MGI developed the corporate horizon index, or CHI, to compare performance by firms […]
Algorithm reluctance, home-visit showdown, and the problem with wearables.
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 […]
Social program science, gut-bias decision test, and enough evidence already.
Hello there. We had to step away from the keyboard for awhile, but we’re back. And yikes, evidence-based decisions seem to be taking on water. Decision makers still resist handing the car keys to others, even when machines make better predictions. And government agencies continue to, ahem, struggle with making evidence-based policy. — Tracy Altman, editor 1. Evidence-based […]
Battling antimicrobial resistance, visualizing data, and value in health.
“The driving force behind MDRC is a conviction that reliable evidence, well communicated, can make an important difference in social policy.” -Gordon L. Berlin, President, MDRC 1. Slice of the week: Can behavioral science improve the delivery of child support programs? Yes. Understanding how people respond to communications has improved outcomes. State programs supplemented heavy […]
Social determinants of health, nonfinancial performance metrics, and satisficers.
PepperSlice Board of the Week: Dentists will slow down on antibiotics if you show them a chart of their prescribing numbers. Antimicrobial resistance is a serious public health concern. PLOS Medicine has published findings from an RCT studying whether quantitative feedback and intervention about prescribing patterns will reduce dentists’ antibiotic RXs. An intervention group prescribed […]
Science of CEO success?, drug valuation kerfuffle, and event attribution science.
Dear reader: Insights Weekly is starting a new chapter. Our spotlight topics are now accompanied by a ‘newsletter’ version of a PepperSlice, the capsule form of evidence-based analysis we’ve created at PepperSlice.com. Let me know what you think, and thanks for your continued readership. – Tracy Altman, Ugly Research 1. Is social services spending associated […]
Health innovation, foster teens, NBA, Gwyneth Paltrow.
1. Management research: Alchemy → Chemistry? McKinsey’s Michael Birshan and Thomas Meakin set out to “take a data-driven look” at the strategic moves of newly appointed CEOs, and how those moves influenced company returns. The accompanying podcast (with transcript), CEO transitions: The science of success, says “A lot of the existing literature is quite […]
1. Behavioral economics → Healthcare innovation. Jaan Sidorov (@DisMgtCareBlog) writes on the @Health_Affairs blog about roadblocks to healthcare innovation. Behavioral economics can help us truly understand resistance to change, including unconscious bias, so valuable improvements will gain more traction. Sidoro offers concise explanations of hyperbolic discounting, experience weighting, social utility, predictive value, and other relevant […]