So I live in North Carolina, luckily a bit in-land, not by the coast and not in a flood plane. With an impending Hurricane Florence, I’m a bit worried about the people in the eastern part of the state I’ve called home for the last decade.
Even though we have a lot going well for us, it’s hard not to feel a little anxious when the storm tracker seems to point directly at your house.
The Cone of Uncertainty is an Awesome Visualization
I really wish more of our predictive analytics were showcased this way. It’s essentially a cone of we don’t know where exactly but we expect these people should be worried. And they don’t even hide it, they say straight up, “this is a cone of uncertainty.”
Now the look of the visual makes it seem more dangerous at the end. Of course that’s not the case as the land will decelerate the storm and make it smaller. But because the visual is almost always paired with a meteorologist explaining that to everyone, that fact doesn’t make it a misleading visual.
Knowing that you might be in the path of a hurricane is incredibly useful. It means prepare, you may be hit or you may not, but be ready.
What if we regularly used the cone of uncertainty in evaluation?
Instead of saying, well here’s our predicted path to success on this specific outcome. You say instead, “based on what we know our outcome measures will end up somewhere in this area.”
It’s honest, since there is often so much we don’t know. Just not sure how well that would show in a presentation.
I also think political analysts and pundits might want to use the cone of uncertainty whenever discussing anything involving Trump. Thoughts?