Friday, October 12, 2007

Right is Right

An individual once came into my office after a particularly upbeat argument about statistics and wrote on my board “Right is Right.” I kept that on my board until I moved out of the office. For a while, I thought, yes, I must be that theorist, because I am right, I know theory. It is my job to remain strong in theory. I am not so sure about that anymore.

Basically, sometimes you will have a person on one side trying to argue that conservative, statistical route and the other side; you have a person explaining that you are thinking too analytical and need to focus on the overall goal. In the end, both are right and both are needed. You need a “theory guy” to ensure that what is being done is following the correct models and assumptions. However, a lot of time that theorist can be too involved in theory, and not involved in enough of delivery. That’s where the other person comes into play. The “Strategy” guy. While it is the theorists’ job to bring the right assumptions to the table, it is the strategists’ job to bring the theorist more into the real world. If this can be done well, it can be a great synergy.

Look, it is about being right, statistically. Because if it is not, then no model will work. But it is also about delivery and getting things done. Sometimes you don’t have the correct data to make the perfect model, and if you wait too long, you and your company looses out. It is the organization that has a good synergy between the two that will be the most successful!

1 comment:

Gilligan said...

Well stated, indeed! Where does design of experiments fall? I'd put that on the "strategist" to leverage the "theorist" pretty heavily. That's one way to get to that synergy -- get joined at the hip earlier so that the data that gets collected can be validly analyzed. Seems like the strategist all too often oversimplifies things and wants to just "run the historical data" and have an answer emerge.