Thought leadership

Big Data needs Big Intuition to see the Big Picture

What if you told Picasso that his new style of painting wouldn’t appeal to the art world’s target audiences? Or Steve Jobs that there was no data to support the iPod as the research showed that there isn’t a need for another device for listening to music. Hmmm….

In an era where Big Data is driving the business world to make decisions based solely on data and analytics, consider what is being missed without human intuition playing its role.

Big Data cannot deliver vision and inspiration. Big Data cannot help us imagine what is possible. Yes, we need relevant information to make informed decisions, but it’s our ability to question, elicit feedback and look at things through an emotional lens that paves the way for new thinking. As Tim Leberecht wrote in his article Why Big Data Will Never Beat Human Intuition, “data might be able to predict new problems or find new solutions to existing problems, but only human intuition and ingenuity can come up with ground breaking new ideas”.

We have to remember that at the end of all the zeros and ones are individuals with personal experiences and needs. People who are driven by emotion not logic. People who must interpret what the data is telling us. And while Big Data can make us smarter, it doesn’t necessarily make us wiser. Remember…  knowledge (data) is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom (intuition) is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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