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Avoiding Analysis Paralysis in the Brewery

Mastering the ARt of Decision Making

Just as you've mastered the art of brewing

When we think about brewing, the artful combination of malt, hops, water, and yeast might spring to mind. But what about the delicate blend of data, analytics, and decision-making? Surprisingly, one of the keys to navigating this frothy mix lies within a century-old principle from the field of pharmacology: the Arndt-Schulz Rule.

In a recent episode of Morgan Housel's podcast "Little Ways the World Works", an intriguing principle from the realm of pharmacology found its way into the discussion: the Arndt-Schulz Rule. While this rule may at first seem out of place in a conversation about business, it holds a valuable lesson for anyone navigating the world of data and analytics in the brewing industry.

At its core, the Arndt-Schulz Rule posits that for every substance, small doses stimulate, moderate doses inhibit, and large doses kill. In essence, the impact of any substance is not simply a result of its inherent properties, but also its dosage. So, what could a pharmacological rule possibly have to do with a brewery, you wonder?
Well, consider data and analytics as the 'substance' in question. They're integral to the modern brewery, guiding decisions from which beers to brew, how to market them, to what supplies to stock up on. And just as with the Arndt-Schulz rule, it's not just about having analytics – it's about the right dosage.

While a small dose of data analytics stimulates decision-making, providing actionable insights, a moderate dose can start to inhibit. This might manifest as getting bogged down in the data, losing sight of the bigger picture, and delaying decisions. Then comes the concept of 'analysis paralysis', where an overload of information halts action altogether. This is the metaphorical large dose that, according to Arndt-Schulz, kills.

It's a tricky balancing act. On the one hand, you want to harness the power of data to guide your decision-making. But on the other hand, there's a risk of getting so tangled up in the complexities that you end up standing still – a costly mistake in a fast-paced industry like brewing.

This is where a well-designed analytics system comes in. A clean, simple, and efficient analytics system can serve as a compass, pointing you to the right information at the right time. Instead of sifting through a haystack of data, you get a streamlined version that highlights the insights that matter.

The Arndt-Schulz rule reminds us that moderation is key, even in data analytics. Breweries should strive to strike a balance between using data to inform decisions and not allowing it to become a stumbling block. It’s about finding the sweet spot between informed decision-making and swift action - the 'stimulating dose' of analytics, if you will.

As you delve into the world of brewery analytics, keep the Arndt-Schulz rule in mind. Remember, data analytics is a tool to stimulate action, not hinder it. It's about finding the perfect balance - or the perfect 'brew' - of data, analysis, and action. So, next time you're faced with a big decision, make sure you're not just using analytics, but using them in the right dosage.

Because, in the end, brewing is as much about mastering the art of decision-making as it is about the art of creating that perfect pint.


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