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4-Prioritize Facts, Data, Science–Not Opinion

What are the facts? What data underlie the conclusions? How were facts and figures collected and calculated? What is the scientific method behind the facts and figures?

In the digital era, what counts are reliable metrics, i.e. valid figures. Opinions may be capable of gaining a majority, but this does not make them reliable. Decisions based upon mere opinions lead increasingly quickly to dead ends in an age of growing complexity. Only facts, data, and science lead out of dead ends. Therefore: Facts, data, science must be ranked above opinion. And above special interests.

People have opinions and pursue interests. Opinion and special interests often overwhelm facts and data. What remains is a desert of ignorance. Is that a problem? Yes, at all levels of social, political and economic interaction. Is it possible to solve this problem? That’s true. By prioritizing facts, data, and science over opinions and interests. The more people agree, the more powerful and sustainable the change.

On a scale of 0 to 100 percent:

How satisfied are customers with the product?

Are the employees who develop and manufacture the product satisfied?

How innovative is the company that manufactures the product?

What is the probability that the product will be superseded by a competitor’s product?

These are four questions that can be answered with facts, data, and science–facts and data that can be preserved, and later reinterpreted in the light of the unfolding progress in science. Decisions must be based upon measurable facts.

The scale from 0 to 100% is both usable and arbitrary–whether we speak of 100% of something tiny, or 100% of something large. The absolute size of the scale does not matter. It is only important that a scale is chosen and used consistently.

Are decisions based upon measureable facts?
Yes and no. Often, management takes note of facts and data, and then makes decisions based upon gut instinct. That is opinion-based decision-making. It worked in the age of industry. In the digital era, the complexities involved exceed the abilities of experience, and opinion to cope. Today, facts, data, and science count. Opinions can be entertaining, but can no longer be expected to navigate you toward your goal.