The Importance of Critical Thinking in the World of Big Data

Decision making is very stressful for us, both for our professional or personal lives. We want to know if it is the right step and the long-term impacts. To choose between two alternatives that can alter our lives can be overwhelming. But what if something can tell us the probability of success or likelihood of getting a higher return by analyzing some data. We probably won’t need to use our brains after that and can follow whatever the system says(sound like a sci-fi fiction, isn’t it?).

That’s what an AI does; we feed it the data, it analyzes and provides the most optimum solution to a problem. In the aspiration of making accurate predictions or solving business issues, companies have been collecting as much data as possible. There is so much data unused by unsure people but is collected because, like us, companies live in ‘Fear Of Missing Out.’

Even if we somehow clean, complete, and segregate relevant data and convert to usable form, we should not sit back and let the program do its magic and take its suggestion as the only way to approach a problem. We should apply our critical thinking to understand the nuances of the impact of the decisions, or if there is even a simpler way to address the issue.

Looking at the past trends and replicating it in the future stops us from innovating. It makes us offer similar products that have been a hit, and we stay in our comfort zone while our competitors innovate. It’s like the rabbit hole that is YouTube; we watch a recipe for a chocolate cake, and it keeps on suggesting more recipes, then someone’s review of a recipe and then a dairy-free recipe, and it goes on. Until a day comes when we switch it off, saying there is nothing new on YouTube. But there is, it’s just that YouTube wants us to watch the same content repeatedly to keep us hooked. A human being interfering here might think to mix it up a bit because they know a fellow human being will eventually get bored watching the same content over and over again.

When we add this kind of critical thinking or human point of view to analytics, it comes out as a beautiful combination of science and art. That is why it is essential to have proficient data analysts working in-sync with the systems to provide actionable business insights.

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