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If You Want to Be Creative, Don't Be Data Driven

Beau Lotto

"There is no inherent value in any piece of data because all information is meaningless in itself. Why? Because information doesn’t tell you what to do."

Beau Lotto

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

If You Want to Be Creative, Don't Be Data Driven

If You Want to Be Creative, Don't Be Data Driven

https://medium.com/microsoft-design/if-you-want-to-be-creative-dont-be-data-driven-55db74078eda

medium.com

7

Key Ideas

Beau Lotto

Beau Lotto

"There is no inherent value in any piece of data because all information is meaningless in itself. Why? Because information doesn’t tell you what to do."

Data is Not Reality

  • We see organizations and the engineers who work in them steering towards big data, so it is commonly assumed that data means acumen and direction.
  • Any Data, by itself, does not bring clarity. Data is just information, not reality. It does not represent anything in the field of actuality.
  • Data is also, never complete. Getting more and more Data does not equate to getting more clarity.

Incomplete Data is Misleading

Our brains like to fill up incomplete information based on our prejudice and confirmation bias.

As all data is inherently incomplete, we use our minds to fill the missing information, based on the existing data we have, and that can go obverse.

Our Bias Clouds our Judgement

The way Data is presented to us triggers our bias and assumptions, blocking our options, and making us less creative.

Our judgment is clouded due to the data, so we come up with sub-par solutions to a problem.

Our Drive the Data

Our perception, creativity, and assumptions drive the outcome of the results from any given data.

Data by itself may be meaningless, but if we use it with our creativity we can harness it and turn it into something useful.

Question Everything

Questioning basic assumptions and your own perception can lead to new potentialities. Human beings can think out-of-the-box, can question creatively, something that machines cannot, yet.
Play, experimentation and the ability to unlock new possibilities are also things only humans are capable of.

Inclusive Thinking

Inclusive and holistic thinking is a hallmark of human beings, something that machines cannot accomplish yet, as they cannot process information beyond the data available.

Diversity and inclusiveness in our solutions and decisions are the components of what makes the difference between human beings and data-based decisions.

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The conjunctive events bias
The conjunctive events bias

We often overestimate the likelihood of events that must happen in conjunction with one another.

We are optimistic in our estimation of the cost and schedule and surprised when somethi...

Conjunctive events
  • Broader categories are always more probable than their subsets. It's more likely someone has a pet than they have a cat. It's more likely someone likes coffee than they like cappuccinos. The extension rule in probability theory thus states that if B is a subset of A, B cannot be more probable than A.
  • Likewise, the probability of A and B cannot be higher than the probability of A or B. It is more probable that Linda is a bank teller than that she is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement.
The best plans often fail

A plan is like a system. A change in one component of a system will likely impact the functionality of other parts of the system. 

The more steps involved in a plan, the higher the chance that something will go wrong and cause delays and setbacks. For this reason, home remodeling and new product ventures seldom finish on time.

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Information that matches our beliefs

We surround ourselves with it: We tend to like people who think like us; if we agree with someone's beliefs, we're more likely to be friends with them.

This makes sense, but it means ...

The "swimmer's body illusion"

It's a thinking mistake and it occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. 

Professional swimmers don't have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques.

The sunk cost fallacy

It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. The reason we can't ignore the cost, even though it's already been paid, is that we're wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.

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Creativity and problem solving

Creativity is about problem-solving. And creativity is also about finding problems to solve in the first place: perceiving them, defining them, explaining them, and recordin...

Diving and swimming

This technique requires 2 steps:

  • Deep immersion into a subject matter without specifically looking for an answer to your problem.
  • Letting go completely while you process that information (actually walking away from it), to allow good ideas to bubble up from the subconscious and into clear view.
Exaptation

This is the ability to reach beyond a specific field of expertise and create new uses for an older thing. It’s about taking one thing and using it for a different purpose than intended.

For example: Apply a cooking recipe to a marketing strategy or use a spreadsheet program to organize words for your poetry.

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