December 6, 2021
The CBS Post


Challenging Conventional Wisdom using Data Analytics

Aviral Saxena

Neither are we strangers to the now significant field of data analytics nor are we unaware of the massive use it has found in business today. Yet, most of us seem to think it’s all about coding and learning programming languages and syntax. 

Let us start with a story. The movie Moneyball tells the real-life adventure of Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics, who in 2002 led his small-market, underfunded team to an unprecedented 20 consecutive wins. Moneyball is a look at how Mr Beane helped transform the team, one of the poorest in baseball, into a serious playoff contender, competing with the wealthiest franchises, mostly by ignoring the conventional wisdom of the game he revered. But at its heart, Moneyball isn’t about baseball. It’s not even about technology or statistics. It’s about challenging conventional wisdom with data. It’s about searching for a greater truth – the place where science collides with long-held beliefs, romanticized tradition, and assumed knowledge. And, in the end, it’s about a guy willing to take on the goliath owners because he understands how they are ruining the game he loves.

Let’s start with the basics because that’s where the secret lies.  Any data scientist worth their salt would say that the basics of statistics, econometrics and mathematics are critical before you jump on the high horse and start deep learning. In today’s times, there is a plethora of user-friendly software for performing even the most complex and advanced operations and techniques. Thus, software and technicalities should be the least of anyone’s worries, if any. There are, of course, multiple ways to go about learning these, online courses designed by the best universities and corporations and the weekend data analytics course in the college itself. 

Harnessing the power of data is one of the best things a company could do in order to get their hands on the pie called market share. But it can often do something more remarkable. It can challenge conventional wisdom and turn it on its head. Because conventional wisdom is often very conventional thinking. Even for the smallest of decisions, the least one can do is ensure that the force of data is with them.  


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