When information is king the knowledge of how to exploit it becomes the weapon of choice. The problem is that once you get down to analyzing data you can end up entangled in an ever growing web of interconnections. Everything seems to be somehow related to everything else.

This is when cognitive scientists come in handy. They know how to distinguish between finding connections and finding meaningful connections. And such knowledge is truly invaluable.

Check out: Why Your IT Project Needs a Cognitive Scientist




  • exploit – make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource)
  • deploy – bring into effective action; utilize
  • crucial – of great importance
  • cognition (adj cognitive) – the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses
  • hindrance – a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone
  • entail – involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence


Think about it

Based on the text answer the following questions. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • What alternative approach to big data and analytics has been identified by the authors?
  • Is it true according to the authors that knowledge of the business can limit your thinking? Why?
  • What is behavioral economics?
  • What are confirmatory biases?
  • Describe how HMRC has reorganized its work recently.


Practice makes perfect

In the sentences below replace the phrases in bold with the expressions from the original text. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • For that reason, it’s of the utmost importance to understand how people create and use information.
  • This means that project teams need members experienced in the cognitive and behavioral sciences.
  • But those moves will be insufficient.
  • What brings you back down to earth is knowledge of the business.
  • They also spend time away from the home office, working while travelling with inspectors (who conduct tax investigations) [. . .]


Fill in the blank spaces with the correct form of the words in capitals.

Our research, which has involved studying more than 50 international organizations in a ________ VARY of industries, has identified an ________ ALTER approach to big data and analytics projects that allows companies to ________ CONTINUE exploit data in new ways. Instead of the ________ DEPLOY of technology, it focuses on the exploration of information. And rather than viewing information as a resource that resides in databases — which works well for designing and implementing conventional IT systems — it sees information as something that people themselves make ________ VALUE.


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. You can only use one word in each blank space.

________ that reason, big data and other analytics projects require people versed ________ the cognitive and behavioral sciences, ________ understand how people perceive problems, use information, and analyze data in developing solutions, ideas, and knowledge. This shift mirrors the shift ________ economics to behavioral economics, ________ applies knowledge from the fields of social psychology and the cognitive and behavioral sciences ________ develop ________ new understanding of ________ people think and behave in markets and economies.


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