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Weak leaders are prone to a preconception bias. They can be blind to evidence and somehow believe their intuition, instincts, and gut feel are acceptable masquerades for having fact-based information. Psychologists refer to this as a confirmation bias. What often trips managers up is they do not start by framing a problem before begin- ning to collect information that will lead to their conclusions. They often subconsciously start with a preconception. That is, they seek data that will validate their bias. The adverse effect is they prepare them- selves for X, and Y is actually happening! By framing a problem and considering alternative points of view, one widens the options to for- mulate hypotheses. And this is where the emerging discipline of ana- lytics fits in. With fact-based information, organizations gain insights and views that they might otherwise have missed. Mental shortcuts, gut feel, intuition, and so on typically work except when problems get complex. When problems or opportunities get complex, then a new set of issues arises. Systematic thinking and application of analytics are required. curious people (curiosity is a trait of analysts) always ask questions. They query data to answer questions, and then use ana- lytics to ask further and more robust questions. And better yet, their analytics can answer their questions. Analysts typically love what they do. If they are good with analytics, they infect others with enthusiasm. Their curiosity leads to imagination. Imagination considers alternative possibilities and solutions. Imagination in turn sparks creativity. Once analysts produce results, they provide an important ingre- dient needed by decision makers—confidence. Confidence is a feel- ing and belief that one can rely on someone or something to make a decision and perform at some known time in the future. Effective analysts create confidence and trust with their stakeholders. To make a wrong decision means you were mistaken and erroneous. Your decision was incorrect for the problem to be solved or opportunity that could have been realized (there is also an immoral, unethical, and illegal connotation; but that is a different variation of a poor choice). To be confused means you are baffled, bewildered, and perplexed. You cannot be positioned to make a correct decision because your thinking is muddled and clouded. Embracing analytics can resolve both conditions.

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