I recently came across a couple good articles on business experimentation from my meanderings of more than 30 LinkedIn group discussions. Randomized experiments or related quasi-experimental designs for measurement are now part and parcel of evidence-based business. Indeed, whether you refer to the focus as data-driven, super-crunching or big data analytics, central to them all are large data sets, statistics/machine learning algorithms and sophisticated designs.

Writing in the European Business Review, Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke derides what he sees as the current obsession with cost-side optimization and standardization — “Six Sigmaing” — which he feels may ultimately come back to haunt practicing companies:

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