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Getting down with Mr. Data

There are no more excuses as to why you can’t learn how to use data.

Average is Over

Tyler’s Cowen’s excellent book Average is Over tells the story of the development of chess playing computers. Everyone knows IBM’s Deep Blue.

What many don’t know:

  1. When a computer plays a grandmaster, the computer wins.
  2. When a computer and even an average human player team up, they can defeat all challengers, both human and computer.

When a you pair human intuitive leaps with computer data, you win every time.

The Lesson

It’s 1965 and you are going to print on a nation-wide ad campaign, you’d better hope it’s perfect. There are no second chances.

So you hire the best ad man in the business. And he’s worth it. He’s the Grandmaster.

But now it’s 2016 and just being the grandmaster isn’t enough.

When you are running Facebook ads, or email campaigns, or changing your landing pages, you can make ten versions. Or ten versions with ten revisions. And ten revisions on those.

Then you run the data and see what works. Make a move and calculate the next one. Get 1% better and dominate.

Those who know how to use their skills to compliment those of the computer will find more success in the future.

And if you don’t want to learn how to work this miracle of data+intuition, you’ll have to be content working for people who do.

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