In the age of big data, relying on intuition—what... - Deepstash

In the age of big data, relying on intuition—what others call gut, instinct, a sixth sense or a hunch—can seem like a cop-out or an inferior system.

But according to a survey of top executives, the majority of leaders leverage feelings and experience when making handling crises. And despite popular belief, intuition isn’t a woo-woo concept exclusively reserved for the touchy-feely self-help world. There’s actually a neurological basis for it.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The science of intuition can help you understand how to use it

One study showed that this type of thinking yields real business results: 81% of CEOs with high intuition scores doubled their business in five years.

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There’s no denying that data helps you present your case to your team or company leadership. Statistical analysis can put your findings into context and make a strong argument for more funding or development. Intuition, on the other hand, helps you gauge whether your discovery feels accurate and on-point. Using intuition to do a “gut check ” can help you earn credibility. You’re less likely to present a discovery that has holes and more likely to communicate your findings in a way that’s relatable.

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Management expert Travis Bradberry recently wrote  that highly intuitive people tend to:

  • Be more mindful and seek out solitude
  • Practice empathy accurately, tuning into nuances like body language more closely
  • Nurture their creativity through a love for the arts

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Many researchers, including machine learning experts and data scientists, are embracing the role intuition plays in breakthrough thinking. Intuition is now considered simply another kind of data—one that’s no less valuable than traditional analytics.

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A hypothesis, whether in the boardroom or in a lab, is a hunch. It’s an educated guess fueled by intuition, and it can point you in the direction of a potentially remarkable discovery. Once you have a theory, you can put it to the test with data. If intuition is the spark, data is the kindling that allows the fire to burn. Validating, then iterating, provides a method for exploring the hunch further.

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It’s not a war of AI versus humans . Intuition and big data can exist in harmony, especially if companies actively create teams that combine people from diverse backgrounds and schools of thought. Both intuition and data can lead to insights and breakthroughs. Rather than seeing yourself at odds with colleagues who use the opposite technique, be open to the insights they have. Teams that are echo chambers for one way of thinking lead to groupthink and squelch creativity.

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Cultivating intuition doesn’t just rely on your brain’s ability to detect patterns. It also requires empathy, a skill that can be a huge competitive advantage. Empathy allows you to observe a problem, see how it affects others, and determine how you can fix it. For example, Linkedin’s “People You May Know” feature was developed based on strong hunch that people would be curious to know what their former colleagues and contacts are up to. There wasn’t much hard evidence to prove that the idea would be successful. It sprung up from a deeper knowing of what drives human needs and desires.

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Because each person’s intuition is based on a collection of individual experiences, it is subject to opinion and bias.

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The human mind is wired to see patterns . Not only does the brain process information as it comes in, it also stores insights from all your past experiences. Your intuition has been developing and expanding for as long as you’ve been alive. Every interaction, happy or sad, is cataloged in your memory. Intuition draws from that deep memory well to inform your decisions going forward.

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In other words, intuitive decisions are based on data, in a way. When we subconsciously spot patterns, the body starts firing neurochemicals in both the brain and gut . These “somatic markers ” are what give us that instant sense that something is right … or that it’s off. Not only are these automatic processes faster than rational thought, but your intuition draws from decades of diverse qualitative experience (sights, sounds, interactions, etc.) – a wholly human feature that big data alone could never accomplish.

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RELATED IDEA

INFJ Cognitive Functions

The mind of an INFJ is wired differently than other types. In the Myers-Briggs framework, each type comprises not just the four letters I-N-F-J but also four cognitive functions.

Their cognitive function stack:

  • Introverted Intuition (Ni) "Perspective"
  • Extraverted Feeling (Fe) "Harmony"
  • Introverted Thinking (Ti) "Accuracy"
  • Extraverted Sensing (Se) "Sensation"

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Reclaiming Fulfillment In Life.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” ~Steve Jobs

We often grow up internalizing fear, anger, guilt, shame, helplessness and a feeling of being unsafe in the world. Overwhelmed, we push the pain away and put on masks in order to survive. This isolates us and disconnects us from ourselves and the world around us, keeping us small, scared, and unfulfilled.

Reclaiming your sense of self and the ability to trust your feelings and intuition is not only paramount to healing but also creating a fulfilling life.

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Decisions Using Our Instinct

Business leaders often make important decisions that defy any logical analysis. This process may be termed as a gut instinct, a hunch, or an inner voice.

Our emotions and feelings may be an essential component of a good decision, which is often neglected in the calculative methods usually deployed to solve complex problems.

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