DEEP DIVES is Olson Zaltman's bimonthly newsletter. Enable pictures to load content.

JUNE 2016

Nate Silver is a Dart Throwing Chimp

How Big Data missed the rise of Trump

by James Forr

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, data scientist Nate Silver -- founder of the Fivethirtyeight blog, then associated with the New York Times, predicted the results all 50 states correctly. This brought him national prominence, his achievement hailed as a “triumph of the nerds,” convincing proof of how a skilled  analyst can coldly run the numbers and arrive at truth.

Curiously, though, one of the few certainties of the Republican primary in 2016 was that Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight colleagues were consistently wrong about damn near everything.

How can Big Data be so reliable in 2012 and such garbage in 2016? The problem isn’t the data, but rather how the FiveThirtyEight team used and interpreted that data. Their errors by no means nullify the benefits of data analytics, but they do point to the importance of understanding people as real flesh-and-blood people, not just as data points on a spreadsheet.


Recently Published

Olson Zaltman at IIeX North America

June 13-15 in Atlanta


Or: How a social scientist learned to stop worrying and love the quant
by Miranda Garcia

A Book Review

Marty Neumeier's The Brand Flip
by Jerry Olson

In The News

Introducing our new global partner

ZMET Institute Turkey (A division of Future Bright Group) is Olson Zaltman's newest global partner. Olson Zaltman now has nine global partners, seven of whom cover critical markets throughout Asia and Europe. OZ director Randy Adis spoke to representatives of more than 100 companies at an introductory event in Istanbul in February.

Lindsay Zaltman keynotes Brand Week Istanbul

Lindsay Zaltman, Olson Zaltman's managing director and partner, will be the keynote speaker at Brand Week Istanbul on November 9. He will discuss the meaning and importance of brand experience.

Why Olson Zaltman? Because we listen. When you listen—and think deeply about what you hear—the possibilities are endless.

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