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Probability – Dealing with uncertainty

Ejiroghene Ekpogbe Written by Ejiroghene Ekpogbe · 1 min read >

It is fascinating how much uncertainty we humans have to deal with. Although I am aware of certain uncertainties that even I have to deal with, the Data Analytics course brings it to the fore of my mind again.

I have learned that uncertainty can vary from simple to complex or broad issues. I remember the popular saying “nothing in life is certain”. It is true indeed and the level of uncertainty is so high that things can change in a split second! Life itself is uncertain. It is possible to see someone today who would be no more the next day. It is no wonder the why people say, “Do whatever you have to do, while you can”.

I also learned that there is uncertainty in the business world too. Business managers are constantly saddled with the responsibility of making plans. They have to draw up budget and estimates and make decisions that will be beneficial to the company. It is indeed an onerous task but it is a core responsibility that comes with the job.

As a student of Data Analytics and a potential business manager, I need to understand uncertainty and be able to plan with it.

I remember a situation I was in, a few weeks ago. I had an exam to take. The result of the exam would determine my chances of getting a promotion at my workplace. I had the option of retaking the exam a second time if I did not pass it on my first attempt. Unfortunately for me, I would not be available on the specified date for the retake exam. Before taking the exam, I had no idea what the outcome would be. It was either I passed or I failed it but my major concern was that I may not be able to retake the exam. Not being sure of what the outcome of taking the exam would be; I see uncertainty at play here.

In the world of Analytics, we call my exam situation an event. This event has two outcomes – a pass and a fail. I do not know what the outcome of the event would be but given my understanding of the defined outcomes, I can plan better and make a decision.

If only we can be certain about some things, life will be easier. If I was able to tell what the outcome would be before taking the exams, I would not have been so afraid to take the exam. This is an example of uncertainty!

A world filled with a lot of uncertainties from small to complex, is a rather chaotic world. However the faculty taught that there is a solution to it. It is the use of probability!

Probability is a very important tool to the business manager. When we are faced with some uncertain issues, we can generate probability statements to address such uncertainties. Probability is very useful for decision-making. With it, we can weigh our options and know what to do at a particular point in time.

I learned that if I want to be a good decision-maker, I must understand probability. Although the concept sounds interesting, the mathematical concepts in the course make it somewhat difficult. I am ready to commit time to study and understanding the concept.

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