Psychological Tricks & Side Effects of Data-Driven Decisions

The trend in our age is using data, generating data nad making decisions out of data. Data is the new petrolium of our age represents wealth and power. However, when we use data, not everyone feels and sees the same and psychologically, we may even make them feel wrong. In this topic, I have seen this article to back my assertion up.

As article mentions, in 2016, to mitigate congestion problems during peak hours, staff at Holborn station in central London ran an experiment. Rather than follow the long-entrenched rule that tells Underground passengers to stand on the right side of the escalator, leaving the left for those in a rush to walk up or down, they asked commuters to stand on both sides. Staff figured that standing on both sides could boost passenger flow – and they were right, with 16,220 customers ferried up the standing-only escalators versus the usual 12,745 over the same length of time.

From pessengers point of view, the initial application of the decision clearly could have created confusion. It is usual that when you make a data-driven decision, culture and old habits are the first group effected the most and the immediate.

However, the best answer for these confusions is being transparent. If I as a pessenger would have known this application and offered to see the improvements in a clear way, I would have been happier customer.

I think the decision makers should be starting to create transparent monitoring environments first before taking any decision in practice. This will tell people a clear way to monitor changes and in return support the change.