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Understanding the new role of Big Data in complex systems: surviving the deluge

We face unprecedented levels of complexity, with increasing likelihood of unintended consequences, winner-take-all dynamics, and virtuous and vicious cycles.  At the same time there's a big push to be more "fact-based", more objective, to use more data.  However, data has a completely new role in navigating complex situations.  This webinar is a tour guide to this new reality.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Probably the most important webinar I've done to date.

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Decision Intelligence
Decision intelligence is a framework to apply an interdisciplinary set of technologies to solve the world's most complex problems in an increasingly nonlinear and rapidly changing world. Technology includes predictive intelligence, visual decision modeling, complex systems modeling, big data, predictive analytics, machine learning. UX design, statistical analysis, business intelligence, business process management, causal reasoning, evidence-based analysis, and more. For an overview, see the webinar at http://youtu.be/XRTJt3bVCaEand more videos at http://www.youtube.com/quantellia. Many of these topics are vigorously discussed in the LinkedIn group Effective Decision Making in the Midst of Complexity: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=205078.  Also see http://www.quantellia.com
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Teaching Computers to Think Like Decision Makers: Mark Zangari

Now that computers can do a good job with processing and storing data, what's next?
Lorien Pratt's insight:

If you watch one video this year on decision intelligence, this should be it: 


Now that computers can do a good job with processing and storing data, what's next? Today, we create beautiful data visualizations so that we can understand the data, to think through systems and make decisions. Tomorrow, that systems thinking and decision making will benefit from computer support, as well.


A breakthrough talk, by Quantellia CEO Mark Zangari at the University of San Francisco.

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Where to start if you'd like to learn about systems, whether you're five or fifty

Where to start if you'd like to learn about systems, whether you're five or fifty | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

Here’s the good news: you already think about systems. And you have some good intuitions about them. For instance, when someone says “we’re on a roll!” (an indicator of reinforcing feedback at work), you know there will likely be some built-in limit that ends the growth (that’s a systems pattern known as limits to growth). And you also get it when someone says, in reference to a family or a high performing team, that “1 + 1 = 3” or “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (that's the concept of emergence).

Lorien Pratt's insight:

This looks like a terrific resource: lots of books, articles, training, resources to learn about systems: from complexity to clarity.

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Guess what? Data's irrelevant when the future is different than the past.

Guess what?  Data's irrelevant when the future is different than the past. | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

“One of the key reasons that successful organizations and individuals eventually fail is that they assume their future is an extension of their past.”

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Good to keep this in mind in a world filled with data.

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You think you've got data blindness now... just wait until your data starts to get old.

You think you've got data blindness now... just wait until your data starts to get old. | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"...if collected within the current infrastructure at most companies, the data deluge is more likely to make an enterprise slower, less responsive and – in the long term – less 'intelligent'.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Here's my YouTube on the data deluge.  It's a big deal: http://youtu.be/dPEhq4Mpw24 .

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Worst business decisions are frequently the result of unintended consequences.

Worst business decisions are frequently the result of unintended consequences. | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Q: What was the worst business decision ever made?
Lorien Pratt's insight:

I hadn't realized this!  Bad decisions often come from unintended consequences, and most of those can be seen as arising from a lack of ability to see the entire system.  Ergo: solve them through better systems thinking.


We seem to be suffering from an epidemic of hindsight, judging the situation by the data, not the system.  It's like trying to predict where the elephant will walk based on  her footprints (or maybe something else she leaves behind) rather than actually understanding elephants themselves.


Many of the bad decisions in this article can be seen a consequence of this lack of deep systems knowledge / systems navigational ability: the firing of Steve Jobs, Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide Financial, Fed moves that led to the Great Depression, and many more.


Wow.  Hadn't realized.  Let's fix this together, OK, friends???!!

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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, July 24, 1:53 PM

I hadn't realized this!  Bad decisions often come from unintended consequences, and most of those can be seen as arising from a lack of ability to see the entire system.  Ergo: solve them through better systems thinking.


We seem to be suffering from an epidemic of hindsight, judging the situation by the data, not the system.  It's like trying to predict where the elephant will walk based on  her footprints (or maybe something else she leaves behind) rather than actually understanding elephants themselves.


Many of the bad decisions in this articlecan be seen a consequence of this lack of deep systems knowledge / systems navigational ability: the firing of Steve Jobs, Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide Financial, Fed moves that led to the Great Depression, and many more.


Wow.  Hadn't realized.  Let's fix this together, OK, friends???!!

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Change one thing. Change everything.

Change one thing.  Change everything. | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

As human beings, we cannot change the past. We have control only of our individual destiny and the decisions that we make today. The tagline for the movie The Butterfly Effect is, “Change one thing, Change everything.”

Lorien Pratt's insight:

An analysis through the lens of unintended consequences of the situation with the U.S. border children.

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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, July 22, 12:54 PM

An analysis of the situation with the U.S. border children through the lens of unintended consequences.

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Mental Model: Complex Adaptive Systems

Mental Model: Complex Adaptive Systems | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Let's explore the concept of complex adaptive systems.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Probably the clearest explanation I've read of the distinction between complicated, complex, and adaptive.  Well worth a read

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The wicked problems of the world share something in common

The wicked problems of the world share something in common | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

As many of my colleagues and online acquaintances may know, my professional work has largely been grounded in the application of systems theory, to analyze and solve problems calling for a systems approach"

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Barry's discovered what I call a "systems pattern":


"As I assay it, the ten most intractable plagues of western civilization are conflict, violence, oppression, injustice, corruption, poverty, ignorance, alienation, suffering, and terrorism.


All ten of these hellish problems have something in common. Like cancer, they tend to reseed themselves, round-robin, from one instance to the next, in a never-ending cycle of recursion.


Systemic problems call for a systems approach to problem-solving. But that’s not going to happen until we elevate our collective problem-solving skills to near-genius levels."

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How the Exec Team Gets Better at Decision Making

Join TDI3 for an informative discussion about how the work done behind the conference room door is evolving, how it needs to evolve, and how “unintended consequences’ can be contained.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

We've substantially improved many aspects of corporate life, except decision making at the executive level, which is done the same as it was 100 years ago.  Seems there might be room for improvement.  Especially as we seem to see an increasing disease of unintended consequences.

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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, July 17, 1:31 PM

Better executive decisions => reduced unintended consequences.

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Complex systems more popular in books than Artificial Intelligence

Complex systems more popular in books than Artificial Intelligence | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

A search in the Google corpus of books shows that the ngram Complex Systems surpassed Artificial Intelligence in 2006. Check the Google Books Ngram Viewer.


Via Jorge Louçã, NESS
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Not a surprise, but good to see the data. This only goes through 2006, though.  Plotting the same curve on Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=%22artificial%20intelligence%22%2C%20complexity%2C%20%22unintended%20consequences%22%2C%20%22machine%20learning%22&cmpt=q) shows that "complex systems" has maintained its dominance over "artificial intelligence" since this crossover, except for one short period in early 2012, around the time that Judea Pearl won the Turning Award.


Interestingly, in recent years, "machine learning" has been on the rise, and is on a trend to cross "artificial intelligence" in the near future.

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When you connect information to action, it becomes valuable

Will Hearst in conversation with futurist Paul Saffo.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Well worth a watch.  Some of my favorite decision intelligence-related quotes:


"When you connect information to action, it becomes valuable."


"One person's externality is another's value...Google succeeds by creating profit deserts: they'll find something that someone else is paying money for, and they'll offer it for free.  Are we unwittingly paying a whole lot more than we think?"

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Red Lobster: Get out your bibs, it's getting messy

Red Lobster: Get out your bibs, it's getting messy | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

This just screams "DECISION MODEL NEEDED" at me - how about you?

Lorien Pratt's insight:

How decision modeling can be used to clarify different assumptions and systems understanding in a conflict.  I think that the analysis shown here can apply to many negotiation situations as well.

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Unintended consequences: Research reveals concerns over EU ban on discarding fish

Unintended consequences: Research reveals concerns over EU ban on discarding fish | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
New EU rules that ban fishermen from throwing away unwanted fish they have caught could actually harm wildlife and fail to improve fish stocks, according to a new report.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Decision: Ban fisherman from throwing away unwanted fish

Intended consequence: Improve fish stocks

Unintended consequence: Decrease fish stocks

Analysis: A key link in the chain was not understood: discarded waste from humans is valuable in the ecosystem

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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, May 14, 8:49 PM

Decision: Ban fisherman from throwing away unwanted fish

Intended consequence: Improve fish stocks

Unintended consequence: Decrease fish stocks

Analysis: A key link in the chain was not understood: discarded waste from humans is valuable in the ecosystem

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Decision Fail No More

Decision Fail No More | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

Big decisions sometimes lead to big failures. Why? Our examination of the 3 Signs of Decision Doom will give you perspectives and actions you can take right away to increase the decision success rate in your team or organization

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Looks like a good one

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From divisions and walls to integration and webs

From divisions and walls to integration and webs | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Lorien Pratt's insight:

I had no idea that there was so much literature around systems thinking, especially for children.  This article has a good overview of the genre, plus a list of resources.  Time to connect the dots, I think, from complex systems analysis to decision analysis to Forrester to "Bucky" to the analytics work here in Silicon Valley.  Emergence is...emerging :-)

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A revolution in aquifer data

"Wonder where your water comes from?"

Lorien Pratt's insight:

I don't usually post data-only stuff here (because data overload) but this one was too important/awesome to pass up.  It's a magnetometer hanging from a helicopter that produces 3D aquifer maps: a huge improvement (cost, resolution) over drilling giant cores and analyzing the dirt.  Great PBS video. 


Now we need to use this data to drive great decisions about water usage, worldwide (sorry, couldn't resist).

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Open source intelligence analysis using citizen journalists uncovers critical MH17 information

Open source intelligence analysis using citizen journalists uncovers critical MH17 information | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
The citizen journalist known as Brown Moses, with the help of his Twitter followers, was able to pinpoint the location of a Buk launcher while it was being transported through a pro-Russian rebel-held town in Ukraine, using only open source information like Google searches and YouTube videos.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

National intelligence is a good application area for decision intelligence.  And the combination of citizen journalists and open source information has the potential to tremendously expand the capacity for this analysis.

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Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
This course will teach you the first principles of complexity, uncertainty and how to make decisions in a complex world.

Via Jorge Louçã, NESS
Lorien Pratt's insight:

This course looks awesome!  I've signed up. See you there?

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Tree roots form a sort of "neural network" with one another, in an antifragile complex adaptive system

Tree roots form a sort of "neural network" with one another, in an antifragile complex adaptive system | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2"

Lorien Pratt's insight:

This blows me away; I had no idea about these interconnected, synapse-like links from one tree to the next. 

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Flora Moon's curator insight, August 20, 8:51 AM

I was just thinking about anti-fragile systems,  great example, thanks!

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Collaborate.org: Global platform for GIS, collaboration, videos, and more

Collaborate.org: Global platform for GIS, collaboration, videos, and more | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Lorien Pratt's insight:

This looks like a good platform on which to build Decision Intelligence: combining collaboration, GIS, videos, and more.

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Size doesn't matter: can SMEs conquer Big Data?

Size doesn't matter: can SMEs conquer Big Data? | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Big Data involves collecting a large volume of information. As SMEs don't have access to the same amount of data as larger corporations, does it mean SMEs can't make use of Big Data? Here is a case study with Ovolo Hotels.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Yes!  Or maybe I should say "duh" :-)  Good job Julien.  "Ovolo Hotels takes a different path: only questions with a purpose are used. If the answer to a question cannot impact the business directly, the question shall not be asked."

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Patterns for Systemic Change: Commons Abundance Network

Patterns for Systemic Change: Commons Abundance Network | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Details of: Exploring how to embed into the system the code for its renewal. Fostering factors of opportunity and renewal as commons. Leveraging agency and empowering change agents in their own contexts across the board.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

This looks pretty interesting.  The idea of a community-based approach to implementing systematic change is relatively new to me; this group looks pretty informed on some of the complex systems dynamics.  I'll join, and read,and see what it's about.

 

Some bits that are particularly tantalizing:

"Our System is stuck in self-reinforcing feedback loops...the interactions between the multiple human and natural systems that make up our world, and the flows and accumulations they generate."

 

"We end up with resources attracted, captured and extracted by a few 'winners', cumulating advantage (opportunity, success, power, credit, capital) in a reinforcing feedback loop, dedicated to reinforce the mechanisms that maintain the status quo..."

 

"We need to embed the reproduction of distributed factors of opportunity & renewal in the code of the system at all levels and scales for the system to become generative rather than extractive."

 

I bet World Modeler could help.  I'd appreciate an introduction if anyone here knows folks in this group.

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Ignorance Is Bliss: Study Shows People Avoid Information About Complex Social Issues

Ignorance Is Bliss: Study Shows People Avoid Information About Complex Social Issues | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Lorien Pratt's insight:

I've long talked about the "complexity ceiling" in my work, and now here's a study that illustrates it.  The actionable item here, is that when communicating complex social issues, we need to break them down into understandable pieces.  (Yet, if we stop there, we'll miss key dynamics: there must be a reduction/synthesis cycle).


From the article:

The participants who received the complex description indicated higher levels of perceived helplessness in getting through the economic downturn, more dependence on and trust in the government to manage the economy, and less desire to learn more about the issue.

 

“This is despite the fact that, all else equal, one should have less trust in someone to effectively manage something that is more complex”

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Autocatalysis: the mother of all tipping points

Lorien Pratt's insight:

The best analysis I've seen on why things are changing so much faster.  Well, put, Reese, though I had to look up Autocatalysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocatalysis).  You're right.

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The U.S. Intelligence Community's Kodak Moment

The U.S. Intelligence Community's Kodak Moment | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
The game is changing rapidly. Can Washington's intelligence community keep up?
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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, May 16, 6:57 PM

Another article by Josh Kerbel.  Like the last one I shared, I'll say if you read anything this month, this should be it.  Kerbel is one of our generation's great thinkers, and this article reflects his insightful prescription for how one complex, data-rich organization - the Intelligence Community (IC) in the US -  must evolve to understand context, interdependencies, systems, nonlinear effects, sensemaking, and more.  This is the essence of Decision Intelligence (no wonder, since Kerbel was very influential on our early work).


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