‘Data-Driven’ Strategies Can Sometimes Take You to the Wrong Place

Photograph by Cameron Davidson

Like every overused phrase before it, “data-driven” has become the equivalent of the new black, or orange, or whatever color we are supposed to be wearing this year. Data-driven decision-making is now the confidence-inspiring phrase “du jour” in medicine, education, business, and government. It has a nice alliterative, hard-edged sound that lends a muscular certainty to any strategic plan, conference brochure, or presentation title. If the data are driving, it must be true that you will get to the right destination a lot faster.

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