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No. 589 / A hunch

“A feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.”

As recently as a few hundreds years ago, most decisions were based on hunches along with a little bit of data. But now the pendulum has swung to the other side. Now, we are more analytical because we have more access to data. With this reliance on data, however, it seems like we haven’t quite mastered the art of applying the right data to the correct situation. We love data, and that love blinds us (sometimes) to accurate information and, as a result, wisdom. Just because we know what works, statistically, doesn’t mean it will work in this context under these circumstances.

Human judgement, therefore will not and should not ever be replaced. And data certainly should not trump all. The two work hand in hand. Data leads to information which leads to knowledge; as does experience and intuition. Data informs. It improves our judgement which allows our hunches to yield more promising results.

Just because you ‘know’ something doesn’t mean you know it. Trust in something beyond what the data says, what the odds are, or what is popular or widely understood. Believe in something greater—the universe, God, your gut, whatever it is, it somehow already knows.