Big data analytics is very sophisticated, involving high-level statistical work. For that reason, the whole idea of big data is really scary to business executives. As a result, they don't work well or closely enough with data analysts and professionals (the “quants”) to get the results they need.

Tom Davenport, visiting Harvard professor and noted advocate of business analytical power, says the two sides need to start talking with one another. There's no reason why business leaders can't gain a better picture of the statistical reasoning that goes behind their analytical systems, and there's no reason why quants can't become more business savvy.

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