Don't Trust Your Gut, Trust Data

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When faced with a difficult decision, a business owner might be told to trust his or her gut, but data analytics expert Rob Purser says today’s breadth of data analytics trumps instinct in most business cases.

Purser, development manager of hardware interfacing at Natick, Mass.-based software company Mathworks, said that with all the data collected through networking sensors and advanced Internet of Things-connected devices, people can analyze data to make faster, smarter decisions.

Purser used an example any car owner can understand: knowing when it’s time for an oil change. Cars’ designated needs for oil changes can range anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 miles.

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’As a data guy, that makes me wonder,’ Purser said, adding that these requirements are largely arbitrary and subjective.

’Now, my wife’s Buick -- it doesn’t tell her how many miles it needs changing in, it just tells her what percentage of its oil life it’s through,’ Purser said. ’It’s constantly looking at the oil.’

’Her next car, I’m sure, will send her an email that she’s reached her 20 percent point and that they’ve made an appointment for her to get it changed,’ he said.