Vetting the Actual Science Behind Data Science

Click here to learn more about author James Kobielus. Everybody wants to rule the world–or, at the very least, discover the fundamental rules that rule the world. That’s why we have scientists. Statistical models are the heart of most scientific inquiry. In business applications, for example, data scientists often work with behavioral data that is drawn from fields such as sociology and psychology that have been probabilistic from the get-go. Even B.F. Skinner, the most famously deterministic behaviorist of the past century, was unable to reduce all behavior to a clockwork stimulus-response framework. Even if it were possible to predict human behavior with high confidence, social scientists will always confront the wild card of the human mind. The genetic, cognitive, affective, and other “unseen” factors driving our actions are too…

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