Data Driven Decisions vs. The Law of Diminishing Returns
Data Matters

Quote of the day “Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy wins. In order buy wins, you need to buy runs.”

Peter Brand: Moneyball

I’m not saying it was like my first kiss, or my first major league game, but I clearly remember when I first realized the power of making decisions based on empirical data. I was watching Moneyball and a light went off for me then; maybe that was when the age of data really dawned on you too.

Michael Lewis documented how the Oakland A’s used a statistical approach to dominate Major League Baseball in his 2003 book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. From a business perspective, the 2002 A’s had a $44M payroll, dwarfed by the major franchises like the New York Yankees. Yet, by making data driven decisions, they became a dominant force in Baseball and the business of baseball was changed forever.

While businesses have always used data to improve operations, with more modern examples like 6 sigma, data access over the past 20 years have led to massive improvements in data-based decision making. There’s no question this change in approach has made a difference, the questions are: “What will the next generation of data driven decision making look like” and ”Where will the data come from to do it?”.

This is because, to mix metaphors, by now all the ripe, low-hanging fruit has been plucked and the mines of data are running dry. Sure, there are always more insights to be learned but the law of diminishing returns is in play here. Without a Moneyball-like change in approach, more and more money will be spent to refine smaller and smaller insights from less and less unmined data.  So, how do you buy the runs you need to buy wins?

Anonomatic was founded on the concept that the next biggest insights will not come from mining your own data but by combining your data with data from outside your organization to the mutual benefit of everyone involved.

Take our work to improve the lives of the 600K+ students of Los Angeles Unified School District. There are many solutions that seek to mine academic data and there are countless efforts to learn more from medical data. However, to learn what impact healthcare services have on education, to the betterment of both, you must put the data together and you absolutely must link that data at the individual level to do it. Without the PII Vault that effort would have been inconceivable for multiple reasons.

Its time to ask what could you do, in your own industry and for your own organization, if you were able to use data you never before dreamed you could access? Possibilities from our own conversations include:

  • Determining which Employment Development Department programs help people get off food stamps.
  • Learn the long-term impact of orthopedic devices by evaluating medical records from patient’s primary care physicians.
  • Targeting loyalty members with big-ticket items to coincide with the pay off of consumer loans.

The biggest hurdle to identifying these opportunities is not how you will get the data. That’s actually the easy part because now you have the PII Vault. The most challenging part is throwing away that box we have all spent our careers thinking inside. That box is labeled “Privacy rules will never allow us to do that”.

When you can learn game-changing insights from new sources of data or monetize your organization’s huge deposits of data, and you don’t ever have to worry about sharing, receiving or using Private Identifying Information, as we like to say at Anonomatic “It’s a new era of analytics”.

PII Vault from Anonomatic is the only solution which allows any number of organizations to anonymize their data and share it with a data processor, who can combine and analyze the data, without ever receiving PII. Do you have ideas but not sure how they would work? Reach out to us. We would love to help you make your next big leap.



Matthew Fleck, Founder & CEO - Anonomatic