More About Qualitative Analytics

Overview

 

At Sports Wizard®, we use qualitative methodologies to support partners keen to understand risk, vulnerability and opportunity. This page provides some background information about our epistemic culture, our sense of creating and warranting knowledge (Cestina, 1999) and dealing with the messiness of performance (Williamson, 2018).

You can find a detailed account of our approach in this document. (Download document.) See also our discussions about Analytics 5.0. (Download document.)

We would be delighted to provide more detail should you require it. (Contact)

Introduction

Our qualitative analytics approach resonates with Adam Cooper’s (2015) definition of analytics as “a personal and organisational perspective on using data for decision-making and action-planning and less about how it is processed in a computer; evaluating, planning and doing are human activities”. (Our emphasis.)

Our conversations with partners explore situational awareness (Baysal, Holmes and Godfrey, 2013) and address their understanding of their immediate environment. Our aim is to support our partners as active agents in anticipating and planning for changes in their environment.

The focus of our qualitative observations has been informed by the information and insight matrix shared by Thomas Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Robert Morison (2010):

We have observational protocols that measure performance in real-time and in lapsed-time. These protocols are monitored continuously to maintain optimal levels of intra- and inter-observer reliability. We are mindful also of the threats to the internal and external validity to our work in single case studies (Kratochwill and Levin, 2015) and have a continuous, independent audit of our methods, findings and advice.

We are sensitive to the intelligence augmentation (Engelbart, 1962) potential of our work in an age increasingly challenged and changed by artificial intelligence. Our qualitative approach is designed to be a symbiotic connection (Licklider, 1960) between our partners as sentient humans and the potential of machine learning to provide insights to support behavioural change (Cook, 2017). Our work has an affinity with the sentiment expressed by Ross Goodwin (2016):

When we teach computers to write, the computers don’t replace us any more than pianos replace pianists—in a certain way, they become our pens, and we become more than writers. We become writers of writers.

Our methods are constantly on the move. Like Monika Buscher and John Urry (2009), we are mindful allowing ourselves to be moved by, and to move with, our partners, and aspire to be tuned into how people, objects, information and ideas move and are mobilised in interaction with others. In doing so, we aspire to examine performance up-close and employ a range of methods and resources to “generate insights from complex social spaces and practices” (Williamson, 2018).

Risk, Vulnerability and Opportunity

The interaction of risk, vulnerability and opportunity is central to our work. Our qualitative approach to this interaction has been refined over two decades and, we think, provides a point of difference in our approach to the observation and analysis of performance.

A qualitative approach to risk has an important contribution to make to our intelligence augmentation conversations with our partners (Gal and Rucker, 2018). We seek to find ways to identify and manage risks that embrace an awareness of vulnerability and inform decision-making in a range of performance contexts. Our experience is that this awareness contributes to proactive leadership, organisational resilience and the agility to respond to opportunity.

We work with our partners to explore how to address vulnerability, threat and threat agents. We aim to support organisations and individuals to address a variety of performance issues to explore how we can help to protect them from vulnerability.

You might find this presentation of interest to discover how we use a decision tree to engage with our partners about vulnerability.

We have a very close relationship with the Australian Risk Policy Institute. Tony Charge is President of the Institute. The Institute was formed to promote and encourage greater focus on risk policy in leadership, decision-making and management across all sectors in Australia and more recently has extended its reach internationally as Convenor of the Global Risk Policy Network.