A fascinating story about a paper by Michael Bar-Eli et. al., on the usefulness of data analysis:
Want to know how to stop a penalty kick? Don't ask the goalkeepers; ask the academics. A group of Israeli economists studied 286 penalty kicks and found that most goalkeepers decide to jump right or left before they can really see where the ball is going. Based on the distribution of kicks, the researchers concluded that the smartest choice would be to remain in the middle of the goal.
You don't have to be a hen to know about eggs. But you may need to be an economist to know about football.
In this `bias for action' (i.e. jump right or left before you know it's optimal), I am reminded of active fund management. The motto of index fund management is: Don't just do something, sit there. Index funds are a very good investment strategy. But there is a strong bias in the real world in favour of earning high fees in return for perceived action.
Also see the next page, where there's a paper by Divya Mathur on marriage in India.