How to think like a data scientist
Managers can improve the way they handle and interpret data by learning the tricks of this very specialist trade
How many dates should you go on before making an offer of marriage? The astronomer Johannes Kepler courted 11 women after he lost his first wife in 1611. He liked woman number four “because of her tall build and athletic body” but found a better candidate in number five. He persisted until number 11, at which point his mathematical intuition told him the diminishing returns failed to justify further enquiry.
He married number five and had six children by her.
For managers, the search for the perfect employee can feel similarly complex. This is because of what’s known in statistics as the Secretary Problem. If you pick too early you may miss out on a potential star. Wait longer and you’ll expand the pool, and develop your understanding of quality, but risk of missing out on the best person. For employers, unlike Kepler, there’s probably no going back to a previous candidate.
So, what’s the answer?
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