MAR 1, 2011 9:21am ET

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Science of Business vs. Evidence-Based Management


I've written a lot over the past couple of years on the science of business and evidence-based management. In my "Science of Business Manifesto" blogs a few months back, I used EBM as a synonym for the SOB, drawing on the connotations of both to the conduct of business by the rigorous formulation, measurement, testing and evaluation of alternative courses of action. But a recent interview/article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, “Matchmaking With Math: How Analytics Beats Intuition to Win Customers,” is making me question whether there might be a nuanced difference between the two that's important for BI.

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Comments (12)
Great article and example on how to use data to improve business results, but I agree with the commenter above that it draws a false distinction. The point is to use understanding of the data to improve hypotheses, not to abandon the scientific method. The article doesn't describe them, but might some of the silicon-derived ideas bombed out in practice as well?
Posted by Bob L | Thursday, March 03 2011 at 6:36AM ET
...We don't necessarily know the reason why. Nor do we need to ... And therein lies the difference. In our system there isn't a lot of science behind why these differences exist...

I understand, from a performance standpoint, that improvement is improvement and why care why, but; how can you share a best practice and broaden improvement in an organization if you haven't "learned" what that best practice is? Without learning - improvement is random. At some point you have to try & identify "What was Different" & "Can you transfer or replicate that difference to broaden improvement elsewhere".

Getting beyond the paradigms to improve a process is great but eventually you'd better learn what is different.

Posted by Tim H | Thursday, March 03 2011 at 9:01AM ET
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