March 31, 2021

Tim Harford on using data to make smarter decisions

Tim Harford on using data to make smarter decisions

How can we be smarter about interpreting the data that is presented to us? On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with information — some of it well-intentioned, some of it deliberately misleading. Whether it’s figures about COVID, claims in...


How can we be smarter about interpreting the data that is presented to us? On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with information — some of it well-intentioned, some of it deliberately misleading. Whether it’s figures about COVID, claims in advertisements, statistics in sports, data in a work context or facts we’re being told by our friends - we all have to compute information to understand the world around us.

But how can we make sense of it to allow us to make better decisions and avoid human risk? That's where my guest, Tim Harford, can help us. Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is the author of a recently published book called “How To Make the World Add Up” / “The Data Detective” that explores just that.

He is also a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of BBC Radio’s “More or Less”, “How To Vaccinate The World”, and “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”, as well as the podcast “Cautionary Tales”.

As you'll know if you've heard him before, Tim is highly skilled at telling stories in an engaging way, that help make complex ideas simple. On the show, I describe him as an "Explainer" and "Fact Checker" and we explore both of these concepts. We also discuss the key messages in his book and what we can all do to be smarter about interpreting the information we're presented with.

You can find out more about Tim's podcasts and books via the following links:

How to vaccinate the world 🎧 👉 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/series/m000py6s

Cautionary Tales 🎧 👉 https://timharford.com/etc/more-or-less/

The Data Detective (🇺🇸/🇨🇦) 👀👉https://timharford.com/books/datadetective/

How to make the world add up (ROW) 👀👉https://timharford.com/books/worldaddup/

To sign up for Tim's newsletter and learn more about his other activities 👀👉https://timharford.com/