A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted a McKinsey finding that decision-makers are reluctant to trust data analytics beyond simple blocking and tackling:
"We believe these simpler aspirations reflect the difficulties and barriers to more effective use of data and analytics in decision making. Respondents highlight three barriers in particular (Exhibit 3): a cultural preference for experience over data; a lack of skills in synthesizing and translating the analytics and data for decision makers; and concerns that the data quality is poor. All three of these barriers are recurrent themes in our discussions with clients."
Ok. Data and statistics aren't part of everyday life, and therefore will take time to inculcate our collective decision-making conscious. Sounds fathomable, right? Well, as one of the 36.6 million viewers watching the NFL playoffs this past weekend, I couldn't help but notice the continually aired commercial for the post-season edition of NFL Fantasy Football.
I'm not a fantasy sports participant, but many of my friends are. Prompting lengthy discussions on a receiver's average yards after catch, on a muddy field, when south of the Mason-Dixon line. Fantasy sports leagues are all stats based decisions. Factoring in real-time updates on injuries, bulletin-board material, and the like.
Ever curious, I did a little (non-rigorous) research on fantasy sports. I learned that fantasy sports is an $800 million business, attracting 29.6 million players in the US. That's 30 million people investing leisure time in the study and application of data analytics. I think that's interesting.
More so, perhaps there are carry over opportunities for business. First, most obviously, there is a large pool of people comfortable, albeit not all successful, with data-driven decision-making.
Second, organizations might want to broaden gamification experiments beyond customer retention and talent development into the realm of data-driven decision-making.
Just a thought. Meantime, go Pats!