How well you define a problem determines how well you can solve it

Last month, I attended the Industry Guru Series: Big Data: Think Different in a Changing Business Language, held at Buona Vista CC, thanks to a module I’m currently taking. If you are interested to read more on this event, do click here to find out. What inspired me to talk about it however, was this article that talked about the importance of defining our problems. I will get there in a moment.

The Industry Guru Series was pretty interesting as many real life contexts in which big data was utilised were raised. Also, I have to admit that I did not know community centres organised events of this scale. It was a great experience overall, but what really stayed with me at the end of it all was one of Minister Chan Chun Sing’s closing remarks.

If big data is the answer, then what is the question?

It was really intriguing because for the entire session, we talked about how big data was the answer to solving our congestion problems, healthcare system problems, etc. but never did we bring up the ‘question’. This really highlights how we, living in a fast-paced society can sometimes miss out details in our eagerness to solve problems (and then move on to the next thing on the to-do list). We do so much and yet do so little.

Here’s a great quote from Albert Einstein highlighted by Josh Spector in his article:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

Want to be a great problem solver? Don’t autopilot and rush to solutions. See your problem from different perspective. Ask questions. Challenge assumptions. Might seem like common advice but not many of us remember them. 😉

Article by The Editor