Keep getting Smarter November 28, 2014Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag.
Tags: closed loop, closed loop approach, communications, decision process, feedback, posterior probability, probability
A fundamental challenge in every job is communications. Getting your audience in sync with your message is fundamental to communicating effectively. In previous posts, I have talked about using a closed loop approach, the value in feedback and how numbers improve decision making.
Segue to how the concept of feedback or closed loop is used with mathematics. Specifically with probability and ratios. There is a method to better understand probability outcomes that includes current and prior knowledge. Formally known as Bayes’ Rule (aka, Bayes’ Theorem or Bayes’ Law), it provides a way to numerically express how a degree of belief should rationally change to account for evidence of that belief. It gets complicated but basically, it involves prior and posterior probability.
The posterior probability is the Bayesian inference. The value in using Bayes’ Rule is starting with a prediction, getting results and then improving the prediction based on those results. What I find interesting is it provides a way to get smarter about something in the future and uses a ‘closed loop’ to do it. The intent is to keep getting smarter based on what you know and what you learn.
Improved insight or knowledge may not require using Bayes’s Rule, and whatever form is used for communications, it is important to accurately state what you know and reserve the right to be smarter in the future.