Data and instinct


You can't be creative if you don't have a starting point based on data, but just data is not enough if you are not creative. You need to develop and follow your instinct. Do you usually start from data or bet on your creativity and instinct?

Data Analysis
Creative Solutions
Instinctive feeling
Paolo Beffagnotti
6 months ago

7 answers


I think instinct come first for me. Based on my creative idea I would discover the data I need. As a final goal, without data your creativity is just like a dummy. But, to start with I would like to have a free soul.

Hitesh Mathpal
5 months ago
I see your point, but also think that this depends on the individual character as I can imagine also the other side that you analyze data. Numbers represent reality and may inspire you. - Patrick 5 months ago
Numbers represents reality but sometimes you can use the same data to explain things in opposite ways. I think a mix of data and instinct is the right solution - Paolo 5 months ago

I tend to go with instinct, which stems from accumulated data stored somewhere in my grey matter. I then see what data is available and if there isn't any -or the data source is unreliable, not applicable or otherwise deemed unfit- I will research the topic myself to see if my assumptions are indeed correct.

Maike Van Oyen
6 months ago
Agree with you, after developing a good expertise in an area, if not supported by data I usually go with instinct and research the topic myself too. - Paolo 6 months ago
Instinct - in the face of a void - is ill advised, THINK : The "Flight" OR Fight" response. - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Actually, the flight or fight instinct might counter your argument. I am not saying one should decide without data. But there are certain behavioural patterns we know to be true, For instance, we know that people are prone to certain biases, like the availability bias or anchoring. Or making it really simple: we know that Eye movement patterns follow a visual hierarchy. - Maike 5 months ago
Many experts use their automated system thinking to access knowledge (which one could then call instinct). One should always know when to trust their instinct (challenge it through panels and refine or itterate concepts and designs based on feedback) and when one's experience is lacking, make sure to research the landscape before the design process. - Maike 5 months ago
NO: Cerebral cortex for data and thought. Limbic system for FF and instinct. - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
instinc is not accumulated data; it is EXPERIENCE! - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Right David, instinct and experience are strictly linked - Paolo 5 months ago

Primary Instinct secondary backup with data. Through instinct one could create a new trend, a viral popularity be a leader in the current trend/industry/market or field. Data on the other hand provide evidence of the success of others where one could follow their path to gain success too but the achievement might not be as significant as one instinct if one nailed it! Instant popularity, instant domination of the field/market.

Lawrence Loy
6 months ago
Agree. How do you develop your instinct and are confident that you can use it? - Paolo 6 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti to be honest i think the only way to develop your instinct is through accumulated experiences or you are born with a talent to do so. What do you think? - Lawrence 6 months ago
I fully agree with you, you need to accumulate experience to develop instinct - Paolo 6 months ago
NOPE; Instinct is inborn; experience is developed over time. BACKWARD - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Instinct is inborn, but experience is adapting the instinct. - Patrick 5 months ago

"Humans make irrational choices, particularly when faced with deeply complicated, multi-attribute decisions." Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, pioneers of behavioral economics, argued that humans rely on heuristics, metal shortcuts that lead them to arrive at judgements based on only a thin slice of the overall problem.

Take blackjack, for example, where most players will decline to hit on a 16 against a dealer’s 7. Mathematically, the better play is to take another card. Staying means a 74% chance of losing, compared to 67.5% when hitting. Just because it feels right, doesn’t mean it is right.

Experience, intuition and emotion are tremendously important. And quantifiable. Once quantified, you can learn about them, and figure out what matters and how much.

There is always a right answer. The trick is becoming as good as possible at finding it. The key is using data in combination with intuition. When Ted Sarandos (Netflix) was asked about data and intuition, he said, “In practice, it’s probably a 70%/30% mix. 70% is the data, and 30% is judgement. But the 30% needs to be on top, if that makes sense.” 

Zachary M. Schwitzky
6 months ago
Well said! Data and intuition must work together to be sucess! - Lawrence 6 months ago
AH! I'm not so sure that such game theory applies here; or all the time. - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
David, why you are not sure about this? Thanks for clarifying - Paolo 5 months ago
No problem: Because Kahneman and Tversky called this behavior "anchoring"; not intuition. - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
And, I am a devotee of: Dick Thaler, Dan Ariely, Anat Brach and Stephen Meier; etc. Much more modern. - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Agreed, David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP®. Michael Lewis has been top-of-mind recently. My point was simply that often the right decision and the preferred decision are at odds. Take for example, nail polish color in a POV recipe video. Ask everyone in the room what color they believe is most effective and you'll get as many colors as people, and weird looks. Machine learning should augment human creativity. - Zachary 5 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 5 months ago

'Without data, you're just another person with an opinion' (W. Edwards Deming).

You may start with an idea (hypothesis) and then look for information, which may confirm or non-confirm this. On the other hand, data-analysts may find statistical patterns in the data-sets and then come up with a logical theory to explain the identified patterns. This would be the typical Human-AI-Team, where the AI identifies statistical patterns, but to logical explain it, a human is required.

Patrick Henz
6 months ago
Agreed Patrick Henz. There are parallels between evaluating the future value of a baseball player and predicting if content will resonate with your audience. Even after you quantify the soft data, and appropriately weight the different variables, you still need human rejection. Effective creatives (and GMs) use data to validate decisions, not come up with ideas. - Zachary 6 months ago
Zachary M. Schwitzky , good example. Before a club buys the player, they invite them to a detailed health-check up. This to gain additional information to confirm the potential decision. Potential weak-points get identified, nevertheless it is up to the human vision to decide, if the player fits into the team. - Patrick 6 months ago
Data - interpretation - knowledge - wisdom - outcomes! - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® : Data --> AI, Interpretation --> Human, Knowledge --> AI, Wisdown --> Human, Outcomes --> Human + AI - Patrick 5 months ago
Statistics, damn statistics and lies~! - Dr. David E. 5 months ago

The gut and the brain are joined together. Use them equally and you'll be OK.

David Cottrell
5 months ago
Then why is it not called "gut dead". - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Because the gut can survive even if the brain is dead. Thus suggesting that instinct carries more weight than data. - David 5 months ago
Instinct is made by data but at the end I trust more on the first one - Paolo 5 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti , this may by wise or not, and depends on your experience. - Patrick 5 months ago

OMG DUDE: That was "a facetious remark".

Brain death is a legal definition of death that refers to the irreversible end of all brain activity (including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life) due to total necrosis of the cerebral neurons following loss of blood flow and oxygenation. It should not be confused with a persistent vegetative state.


Dr. David E. M
5 months ago
REPEAT: BD = including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life - Dr. David E. 5 months ago
Heard you the first time - David 5 months ago

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