As I was reading “The Philosophy of Data” by David Brooks on New York Times1, the topic which got me into thinking about as to in which situations should we solely rely on instinctive pattern recognition and which situation should we ignore instinct and follow the data. Within the column, David Brooks basically give examples of following data and ignoring intuition and vice versa.
Venturing into answering Brooks question and my research topic, I found this article titled, “Big Data vs. Intuition-Why Coexistence is important,2” Which basically answers the main topic question, in most situations data and intuition will have to work together, side by side. One can’t rely on data or intuition alone. As the author of the article claimed, “…intuition drives big data” that if we create algorithms to study a specific occurrence then it is not a creation of natural generation. This specific occurrence someone thought was worth looking into therefore created the algorithms. In the final part of this assignment, I shall go in depth with data and studies which supports the coexistence of data and intuition.
I shall explain as to what it means by intuition in the context of decision-making. The intuitive mode of thinking characterized by three key features: subconscious mind dominates the process of formulating or rationalizing the final results. The information is not processed in a logical sequence of thoughts but instead as parallel (more as a whole). Last but not least, emotions are connected with you so that means that an option may consider may not feel right even though you don’t have a clear proof of that.3
Intuition is needed when speedy response are required and fast paced change or the problem is poorly structured that you don’t have enough time to go through rational analysis. On the other hand, rational analysis is very important to be used when you have clear criteria and have to deal with extensive quantitative data, quantitative finance. Intuition works best when used effectively. For example, collecting data and doing homework so that intuition will be a big help navigating through faster on much of unstructured data.4
Coexistence of data and intuition are very important. I read a long discussion on, “The End of Intuition?” 5 By Paul Pellman and it can be summarized as that the answers data can provide are only as good as the question we present. In order to ask question in the right way, it requires both intuition and the relevant data about the industry.