Date
26 September 2018
Where do we find the inspiration, the insight  for successful decision-making? Photo: Phillip Capper / Wikimedia Commons
Where do we find the inspiration, the insight for successful decision-making? Photo: Phillip Capper / Wikimedia Commons

Human insight valuable in the digital era

I was once managing a team of over 120 business analysts at Alibaba, and doing the monthly report was always such a big challenge. My role was to help them conduct data analysis from different perspectives.

From my experience, I have realized that the analytical framework is almost always the same despite the differences in business details.

Human insight is especially valuable when there is limited information. Human instinct and inspiration do not contradict machine learning; they can supplement each other.

There are many books about human insight. There is Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Also widely recommended is Gary Klein, the author of two of my favorite books. They are Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions and Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights.

Both books have shed light on the decision-making process in different professions.

In fact, most successful decision-makers actually don’t think as orderly or structurally as we think they would.

Instead, they usually find clues through various twists and turns, trials and assumptions, before their gut feelings and inspirations are sparked.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 14

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/CG

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.

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