Tracy Allison Altman

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1. Bad logic → Bad arguments → Bad decisions The Book of Bad Arguments is a simple explanation of common logical flaws / barriers to successful, evidence-based decisions. This beautifully illustrated work by Ali Almossawi (@AliAlmossawi) should be on everyone’s bookshelf. Now available in several languages. 2. Home visits for children → Lifelong benefits →...
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1. Mistakes we make when sharing insights. We’ve all done this: Hurried to share valuable, new information and neglected to frame it meaningfully, thus slowing the impact and possibly alienating our audience. Michael Shrage describes a perfect example, taken from The Only Rule Is It Has to Work, a fantastic book about analytics innovation. The...
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Scrabble analytics - Evidence Soup DATA FOR DECIDING
1. Poor kids already have grit: Educational Controversy, 2016 edition. All too often, we run with a sophisticated, research-based idea, oversimplify it, and run it into the ground. 2016 seems to be the year for grit. Jean Rhodes, who heads up the Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring (@UMBmentoring) explains that grit is not a panacea for...
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photo of girls playing baseketball
1. Do we judge women’s decisions differently? Cognitive psychologist Therese Huston’s book is How Women Decide: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices. It may sound unscientific to suggest there’s a particular way that several billion people make decisions, but the author doesn’t seem nonchalant about drawing specific conclusions. The book...
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magical thinking forest
1. Magical thinking about ev-gen. Rachel E. Sherman, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert M. Califf, M.D. of the US FDA have described what is needed to develop an evidence generation system – and must be playing a really long game. “The result? Researchers will be able to distill the data into actionable evidence that can ultimately...
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flower black-eyed susan
Three Ways of Getting to Evidence-Based Policy. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bernadette Wright (@MeaningflEvdenc) does a nice job of describing three ideologies for gathering evidence to inform policy. Randomista: Views randomized experiments and quasi-experimental research designs as the only reliable evidence for choosing programs. Explainista: Believes useful evidence needs to provide trustworthy data...
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photo of stadium seats
1. Human fallibility → Debiasing techniques → Better science Don’t miss Regina Nuzzo’s fantastic analysis in Nature: How scientists trick themselves, and how they can stop. @ReginaNuzzo explains why people are masters of self-deception, and how cognitive biases interfere with rigorous findings. Making things worse are a flawed science publishing process and “performance enhancing” statistical...
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1. Edges, dragons, and imps. Network analysis reveals that Tyrion is the true protagonist of Game of Thrones. Fans already knew, but it’s cool that the graph confirms it. This Math Horizons article is a nice introduction to graph theory: edges, betweeness, and other concepts.   2. Teach your team to make high-quality decisions. Few of...
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evidence-based social innovation
2015 was kind to the ‘evidence-based’ movement. Leaders in important sectors – ranging from healthcare to education policy – are adopting standardized, rigorous methods for data gathering, analytics, and decision making. Evaluation of interventions will never be the same. With so much data available, it’s a non-stop effort to pinpoint which sources possess the validity,...
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Museum musings.

Pondering the places where people interact with artificial intelligence: Collaboration on evidence-based decision-making, automation of data-driven processes, machine learning, things like that.

Recent Articles

DALL-E image of robot head 800x450 29sep22
30 September 2022
Can AI fake reality?
finger pointing
19 August 2021
How to blame a robot for mistakes: Do your finger pointing properly.
photo of row of townhouses seen through fisheye camera lens
12 August 2020
How Human-in-the-Loop AI is Like House Hunters
coronavirus pandemic curve - johns hopkins
9 April 2020
Deciding while distancing: From data viz to the hard decisions.
soldiers looking at 3d map
26 February 2020
Will military ethics principles make AI GRRET again?