SEST-654 Disruptive Analytics: Theory, Method, & Technology
Fall for 2016-2017
Good analysts of the past used intuition to understand the world. The great analysts of the future will leverage technology, theories, and analytic methodologies to interrogate information and refine their models until they have compelling solutions. This class explores the realm of human, technology-driven, and theoretically inspired methodologies to enhance the student’s natural ability to detect trends, patterns, and anomalies. The case studies will span many disciplines to emphasize the data-agnostic patterns of excellent analysis.
Sloppy thinking is all around us. It permeates our daily lives, professional and personal. For those with less lofty ambitions in life, sloppy thinking is a mere inconvenience. For those who – through luck or intentionality – find themselves in positions of great responsibility, sloppy thinking can have disastrous consequences. This course will help us all be less sloppy. And, in so doing, it will help us change the world for the better. Unfortunately, inertia will constantly pull us and our organizations back towards sloppy outcomes. The word ‘Disruptive’ shows up first in our course title not because it’s de rigueur, but because we should all know going in that this will be a fight: a fight against our own brains, and often an even greater fight against our own organizations. We will equip you to win that fight.
The course is roughly divided into three sections: background and context setting on your brain and analysis; deeper dives into specific methodologies, and consideration of how to evaluate and partner with experts in adjacent disciplines. The course readings and in-class materials will consist of a mix of methodological disciplines and real-world case studies or raw data with a focus on application of the theory – we focus on “know how”, not “know what”. Discussions will cover a variety of substantive topics, however, the raison d'être is not to produce substantive expertise but rather higher quality of thought that can be leveraged against any of the world’s toughest problems.
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