Data Shmata

Maybe I am the only one who feels this, but the hyper obsession with data – big, small, hairy, long-limbed – seems a bit over the top.

I’ve been listening to Dan Goleman’s Primal Leadership on tape, and he raises some big questions about the limit of data-driven anything.

What about intuition?

What about heart?

What about inspiration?

In case you need a quick 101 on emotional intelligence, here’s a quick catch-up.

It seems like a big part of the infatuation with data is an underlying desire to have the vexing questions that are so difficult to resolve answered for us. That’s never going to happen. The real questions that matter won’t get answered by an algorithm. And algorithms, by the way, are riddled with hidden value judgments.

Lest I start getting death threats from the pencil heads – I’m not anti-data. It’s important. It’s useful. It helps narrow down choices. But it’s not a magic autopilot that will make the human factor obsolete.