Simple isn't Easy

Wednesday April 27, 2016

Nick Patterson of the Broad Institute was on a recent episode of the Talking Machines podcast. He said some things that seemed right to me.

First, he said:

I think the most important thing to do on data analysis is to do the simple things right.

I agree. I think that in a field where people are excited about complicated algorithms and flashy visuals, the importance of "fundamentals" is too often neglected.

He also said:

The smarter you are the less likely you are to make a stupid mistake.

I think this is related to the above, but not necessarily only or even primarily about intelligence. I think it also has to do with humility, thoroughness, responsibility, and experience, at least.