Don’t Let Your Analytics Cheat the Truth

by Michael Schrage

Everyone’s heard the truism that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. But sitting through a welter of analytics-driven, top-management presentations provokes me into proposing a cynical revision: There are liars, damned liars, and statisticians.

The rise of analytics-informed insight and decision making is welcome. The disingenuous and deceptive manner in which many of these statistics are presented is not. I’m simultaneously stunned and disappointed by how egregiously manipulative these analytics have become at the very highest levels of enterprise oversight. The only thing more surprising—and more disappointing—is how unwilling or unable so many senior executives ...

Get Harvard Business Review Guides Ultimate Boxed Set (16 Books) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.