In real life, you take into account three sets of data. You know certain routes will not be a good choice. Traffic will build up by the time you get to that location yet maps says its clear. How do you know? If it rains, you adjust. There is no data except a theory that some certain routes will not work for you. It is all memorization of past events or do you have a feeling about certain things? Maybe those feelings are theories.
In business, you are more likely to use data of the past. Theories sound like business school professors who never had a real job, right?
IMO, Theories are statements of causality. Something might happen. You’re reducing the probability of something happening while increasing the likelihood of success. If you have company series with data of the past, You are well on your way to having the makings of an operating system. If you’re trying to drive that three hours today you need an operating system to get there. Many things take place along that ride and in my opinion, it’s three sets of data along with the operating system that can determine which sets of data to use when.
But why do so many businesses Downplay theory? I believe theories are a very different set of math and logic, not taught in US schools. — not well. You just can’t mix the two easily. Excel does not have those functions. Imagine mixing poetry with accounting. It’s had to do.
Regardless, exceptional businesses add predictive theories to their models and operations. Its smart, it works and its time for more to do it.