Numbers Over Intuition

Can you guess which business leader’s decision making process is described below?

“The numbers either refute my thinking or support my thinking,” he says, “and when there’s any question, I trust the numbers. The numbers don’t lie.” Even when the numbers agree with his intuitions, they have an effect.

“It’s a subtle difference, but it has big implications. If you have an intuition of something but no hard evidence to back it up, you might kind of sort of go about putting that intuition into practice, because there’s still some uncertainty if it’s right or wrong.”

Knowing the odds, [redacted] can pursue an inherently uncertain strategy with total certainty. He can devote himself to a process and disregard the outcome of any given encounter.

Who is this leader who trusts numbers over gut feel?
You will be surprised. You need to read this.

Fact Based Decision Making

IBM acquires SPSS:

“The opportunity is to move from sense-and-respond decision-making to a predict-and-act model,” said Ambuj Goyal, a computer scientist who is the general manager of I.B.M.’s information management business.

The growing appeal of the sector, Mr. Davis said, reflects the increasing pressure by the senior management of corporations for “tighter, fact-based decision making, especially in this economy.”

Other independent analytics software makers may well become takeover targets, said Mr. Evelson of Forrester. Among the candidates, he said, are Accelrys, Applied Predictive Technologies, Genalytics, InforSense, KXEN and ThinkAnalytics.

The broad consolidation wave in business intelligence software, analysts say, will bring increasing price pressure on some segments of the industry as major companies seek to increase their share of the market. And the open-source programming language for data analysis, R, is another source of price pressure on software suppliers.