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Tracy Allison Altman
UglyResearch.com
Evidence explainer. Startup founder. Decision scientist. Oakland A's fan.
Interests: research methods, visual analytics, decision science, data visualization, graph databases, evidence-based management, causal models, outcomes research, knowledge translation, data-driven decision making
Recent Activity
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Evidence Soup is moving to a new URL. At DATA FOR DECIDING, I’m continuing my analysis of trends in evidence-based decision making. Hope to see you at my new blog. -Tracy Allison Altman In Trustworthy Data Analysis, Roger Peng gives an elegant description of how... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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Evidence Soup is moving! Only the URL is changing: My analysis of trends in evidence-based decision making continues at DATA FOR DECIDING. Through Evidence Soup, I've met amazing people, and am forever grateful. Looking forward to seeing you at my new blog. -Tracy Allison Altman... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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Debiasing is hard work, requiring transparency, honest communication - and occasional stomach upset. But it gets easier and can become a habit, especially if people have a systematic way of checking their decisions for bias. In a recent podcast, Nobel-winning Richard Thaler explains several practical... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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How we decide is no less important than the evidence we use to decide. People are recognizing this and creating innovative ways to blend what, why, and how into decision processes. 1. Quality decision process → Predictable outcomes After the Golden Rule, perhaps the most... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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Definitely not awesome. Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis reports Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a Field Experiment. “We find that instructors are 94% more likely to respond to forum posts by white male students. In contrast, we do not find general evidence of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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An impressive network meta-analysis – comparing drug effects across numerous studies – shows “All antidepressants were more efficacious than placebo in adults with major depressive disorder. Smaller differences between active drugs were found when placebo-controlled trials were included in the analysis…. These results should serve... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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Communication isn’t just a ‘soft’ or ‘secondary’ skill that’s nice to have. It’s a must-have for good data scientists. Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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New economics evidence shows very convincingly that the difference in healthy eating is about behavior and demand, not supply. Food deserts are not the cause of dietary habits. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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Last year I spoke with the CEO of a smallish healthcare firm. He had not embraced sophisticated analytics or machine-made decision making, with no comfort level for ‘what information he could believe’. He did, however, trust the CFO’s recommendations. Evidently, these sentiments are widely shared.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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1. Long view → Better financial performance. A McKinsey Global Institute team sought hard evidence supporting their observation that “Companies deliver superior results when executives manage for long-term value creation,” resisting pressure to focus on quarterly earnings (think Amazon or Unilever). So MGI developed the corporate horizon index, or CHI,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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1. Recognize bias → Create better algorithms Can we humans better recognize our biases before we turn the machines loose, fully automating them? Here’s a sample of recent caveats about decision-making fails: While improving some lives, we’re making others worse. Yikes. From HBR, Hiring algorithms are not neutral. If you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
During our launch of a new marketplace for Data Storytellers, we moved INSIGHTS WEEKLY to the Ugly Research home page. Scroll down to see our latest posts on how data science is changing business, or click on Research/Insights Weekly newsletter. While you're there, take a look at emerging trends for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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Can we humans better recognize our cognitive biases before we turn the machines loose, fully automating them? Here’s a sample of recent caveats about decision-making fails: While improving some lives, we’re making others worse. Yikes. From HBR, Hiring algorithms are not neutral. If you set... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Evidence Soup
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1. Underwriters + algorithms = Best of both worlds. We hear so much about machine automation replacing humans. But several promising applications are designed to supplement complex human knowledge and guide decisions, not replace them: Think primary care physicians, policy makers, or underwriters. Leslie Scism... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at Evidence Soup
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1. Underwriters + algorithms = Best of both worlds. We hear so much about machine automation replacing humans. But several promising applications are designed to supplement complex human knowledge and guide decisions, not replace them: Think primary care physicians, policy makers, or underwriters. Leslie Scism writes in the Wall Street... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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I'm back, after time away from the keyboard. Yikes! Evidence is facing an uphill battle. Decision makers still resist handing control to others, even when new methods or machines make better predictions. And government agencies continue to, ahem, struggle with making evidence-based policy. — Tracy... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Evidence Soup
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Hello there. We had to step away from the keyboard for awhile, but we’re back. And yikes, evidence-based decisions seem to be taking on water. Decision makers still resist handing the car keys to others, even when machines make better predictions. And government agencies continue to, ahem, struggle with making... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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1. Formalized decision process → Conflict about criteria It's usually a good idea to establish a methodology for making repeatable, complex decisions. But inevitably you'll have to allow wiggle room for the unquantifiable or the unexpected; leaving this gray area exposes you to criticism that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Evidence Soup
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1. Formalized decision process → Conflict about criteria It's usually a good idea to establish a methodology for making repeatable, complex decisions. But inevitably you'll have to allow wiggle room for the unquantifiable or the unexpected; leaving this gray area exposes you to criticism that it's not a rigorous methodology... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2016 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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1. Bad Arguments → Bad Choices Great news. There will be a follow-on to the excellent Bad Arguments book by @alialmossawi. The book of Bad Choices will be released this April by major publishers. You can preorder now. 2. Evidence-based decisions → Effective policy outcomes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2016 at Evidence Soup
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1. Bad Arguments → Bad Choices Great news. There will be a follow-on to the excellent Bad Arguments book by @alialmossawi. The book of Bad Choices will be released this April by major publishers. You can preorder now. 2. Evidence-based decisions → Effective policy outcomes The conversative think tank, Heritage... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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Decision frameworks are tricky, and healthcare value assessment frameworks are no exception. While they can provide objectivity and support decision quality, they can also smother innovation and prevent some patients from receiving needed care. US pharma industry groups have reacted strongly to the framework used by ICER, the Institute for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at PepperSlice Blog
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This week we examine how executives can more fully grasp complex evidence/analysis affecting their outcomes - and how analytics professionals can better communicate these findings to executives. Better performance and more trust are the payoffs. 1. Show how A → B. Our new guide to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2016 at Evidence Soup
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This week we examine how executives can more fully grasp complex evidence/analysis affecting their outcomes - and how analytics professionals can better communicate these findings to executives. Better performance and more trust are the payoffs. 1. Show how A → B. Our new guide to Promoting Evidence-Based Insights explains how... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2016 at INSIGHTS WEEKLY by Ugly Research
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Ugly Research, the producer of PepperSlice, offers a new guide, Promoting Evidence-Based Insights. Intended for PepperSlice users, the guide explains how to shape your content around four essential elements: Top-line, evidence-based, bite-size, and reusable. It's suitable for people in marketing, R&D, analytics, or advocacy. Show how A → B. So... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2016 at PepperSlice Blog