#1 The Friday Digest — Looking beyond the obvious
Data doesn’t provide answers but allows you to ask better questions…
You may have seen this before but always a good reminder of intentional blindness.
Look beyond the obvious; find patterns & outliers.
In World War II, fighter planes would return from battle riddled with bullet holes. The Allies found investigated areas that were commonly hit by enemy fire. They sought to strengthen the most commonly damaged areas of the planes to reduce the number that were lost in action aka shot down by enemy fire...
A mathematician, Abraham Wald, pointed out that the perhaps there was another way to look at the data. Perhaps the reason certain areas of the planes weren’t covered in bullet holes was that planes that were shot in those areas did not return. This insight led to the armour being re-enforced on the parts of plane where there were no bullet holes.
The story behind the data is arguably more important than the data itself. More precisely, the reason we are missing certain pieces of data may be more meaningful than the data we have.
Extract taken from the book “how not to be wrong every day” — linked here.
Source of original LinkedIn post lost. Please let me know if this is your text.