Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information


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Become a confident leader and use data, experience, and intuition to drive your decisions

Agile decision making is imperative as you lead in a data-driven world. Amid streams of data and countless meetings, we make hasty decisions, slow decisions, and often no decisions. Uniquely bridging theory and practice, Decisions Over Decimals breaks this pattern by uniting data intelligence with human judgment to get to action — a sharp approach the authors refer to as Quantitative Intuition (QI). QI raises the power of thinking beyond big data without neglecting it and chasing the perfect decision while appreciating that such a thing can never really exist.

Successful decision-makers are fierce interrogators. They square critical thinking with open-mindedness by blending information, intuition, and experience. Balancing these elements is at the heart of Decisions Over Decimals.

This book is not only designed to be read - but frequently referenced - as you face innumerable decision moments. It is the hands-on manual for confident, accurate decision-making you've been looking for; the rare resource that provides a set of pragmatic leadership tools to accelerate:

  • Effectively framing the problem for stakeholders
  • Synthesizing intelligence from incomplete information
  • Delivering decisions that stick

Strike the right balance between information and intuition and lead the smarter way with the real-world guidance found in Decisions Over Decimals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119898481
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 10/04/2022
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 801,117
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER FRANK is a Vice President in the Global Advertising and Brand Management team at American Express. He is a senior strategist at the intersection of marketing, analytics, and commerce developing superior strategies applied to global markets working with B2B and B2C products. He is the co-author of Drinking from the Fire Hose and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.

PAUL MAGNONE is Head of Global Strategic Alliances at Google. He is a leader in using technology and innovation to create and develop growth strategies for businesses. He has launched new high-growth businesses working in over 30 countries and has been an Industry Mentor in the NSF I-Corps Program. He is the co-author of Drinking from the Fire Hose and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.

ODED NETZER is the Vice Dean of Research and the Arthur J. Samberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. He is also an Amazon Scholar and an affiliate of the Columbia University Data Science Institute. Professor Netzer is a world-renowned expert in data-driven decision-making. His award-winning research is broadly read and highly cited. He has published dozens of papers in the world’s leading marketing and management science journals.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Prologue: The Certainty Myth xix

Quantitative Intuition (QI)™ xx

Why Quantitative Intuition™ xxviii

Biases from Working Intuitively xxxiii

Biases from Working with Data xxxvi

Chapter 1 Asking Powerful Questions 1

Road to Powerful Questioning 3

Precision Questioning 3

The Power of Precision Questions 5

Building an Inquisitive Team 6

The Smartest Person in the Room 10

Key Learnings - Chapter 1 13

Chapter 2 Framing the Problem 15

IWIK™: A Tool for Reasoning 17

The IWIK™ Process 18

Framing the Decision 30

Key Learnings - Chapter 2 31

Chapter 3 Working Backward to Move Forward 33

Defining the Problem 35

Harnessing Inside of- the- Box Thinking 42

Taking the Road Less Traveled 45

Key Learnings - Chapter 3 48

Chapter 4 Learning to Become a Fierce Data Interrogator 49

Assessing the Data and Its Reliability 51

Putting the Data in Context 64

Pressure Testing Your Analysis 66

Key Learnings - Chapter 4 71

Chapter 5 Developing Intuition for Numbers 73

The Power of Approximations 74

Learning to Approximate 76

Approximating in Practice 78

Why Guesstimation Works 80

Getting Comfortable with Approximations 82

Guesstimation in the QI Framework 86

Key Learnings - Chapter 5 86

Chapter 6 From Analysis to Synthesis 89

The Value of Synthesis 90

Make Your Bottom Line Your Top Line 93

The Lack of Synthesis 95

Encouraging Synthesis 97

“What?”, “So What?”, and “Now What?” 99

Key Learnings - Chapter 6 100

Chapter 7 the Decision Moment 101

Dimensions of the Decision Moment 102

The First Two Dimensions: Time and Risk 103

The Third Dimension: Trust 106

Measuring Time, Risk, and Trust 108

Decision Reversibility 115

Navigating Ambiguity 118

From IWIKs™ to Decisions 121

Key Learnings - Chapter 7 123

Chapter 8 Delivering the Decision 125

The Story Arc in Decision- Making 126

Tuning the Narrative 128

Inform versus Compel 139

Key Learnings - Chapter 8 141

Chapter 9 Chasing the Decision 143

Strategy 1: Create the Case for the Decision 146

Strategy 2: Frame the Outcome 150

Strategy 3: Classify the Type of Decision 153

Strategy 4: Reduce the Scope of the Decision 154

Strategy 5: Right Size the Decision 156

Strategy 6: Pressure Test the Decision—Go to the Extremes 159

Strategy 7: Seek Consent Not Consensus 163

The Perfect Decsion Is an Illusion 164

Key Learnings - Chapter 9 165

Chapter 10 Creating a Quantitative Intuition™ Culture 167

Recruiting for the Quantitative Intuition™ Skill Set 169

Building a Quantitative Intuition™ Team 175

Cultivating a Quantitative Intuition™ Organization 181

Key Learnings - Chapter 10 183

Chapter 11 The Future of Data- Driven Decision- Making 185

Automation and Human Judgement 186

Predictions and the Digital Twin 190

Probabilistic versus Deterministic Thinking 193

Found Time for More Decisions 196

Epilogue 199

Acknowledgments 203

Index 207

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR Decisions Over Decimals

“One danger of ‘big data’ is giving managers a sense of impunity over outcomes. No decision is perfect. No amount of data is predictive. The authors—quantitative experts at some of the world’s most admired companies—argue that information is no replacement for intuition. And they provide a framework of agile decision-making in today’s hyper-fast, swollen market.”
—JOHN GERZEMA, CEO, The Harris Poll, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And The Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule The Future

“In the spirit of lateral thinking, this is a modern framework for balancing data, experience, and creativity to make smart, timely decisions. The authors‘ concept of quantitative intuition, couldn’t be more relevant for all levels and teams—understand the data, stop endless debate, apply judgment, take action.”
—JEFF HANSEN, GM, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft

“Using years of research and industry experience, the authors show how combining data and intuition, what they call ‘quantitative intuition, ’ can lead to smarter decisions. Decisions Over Decimals is a compelling book that should be on the reading list of every executive.”
—SUNIL GUPTA, Professor, Harvard Business School

“Want to make better data-driven decisions? Then you need to read this book. Decisions Over Decimals provides tools and frameworks to combine intuition, data, and business acumen to achieve better results.”
—JONAH BERGER, Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst

“Most books that encourage data-driven thinking throw piles of data at the reader. Frank, Magnone, and Netzer do something far more valuable: they teach how to make sense of all this data. After finishing this book, you won’t just know new facts that might help you in a particular decision. You will have a new approach to make any decision.”
—SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ, New York Times op-ed contributor, New York Times Bestselling Author, Everybody Lies, and Don’t Trust Your Gut

“Competitive advantage today is determined by whether an organization can make fast decisions but also high-quality ones. In this delightfully straightforward book, the authors take you on a journey to ‘see’ beyond the numbers, to move forward with imperfect information, and achieve desirable outcomes.”
—RITA MCGRATH, Author of Seeing Around Corners, Professor, Columbia Business School

“The authors have developed an innovative, practical framework for decision making that is based on a synthesis of data analytics and experience-based intuition. Their approach is broadly applicable across industries, including health care.”
—ELLIS M. ARJMAND, Surgeon-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital New Orleans

“The ambitious premise that human judgment in decision-making can be codified, taught, and honed is proven in Decisions Over Decimals. The authors articulate a process that right-sizes the Goldilocks compromise between data paralysis and gut feel – and do this credibly through their collective experience from companies ranging from startups to the most data-rich organizations.”
—BRANT CRUZ, Vice President, Platforms and Audiences Practice Leader, Chadwick Martin Bailey

"The most important decisions are often the most uncertain and often on the razor's edge. Frank, Magnone, and Netzer masterfully provide a framework to make better decisions faster in a way that can be explained to your stakeholders."
ALEX SHARPE, Sharpe Management Consulting LLC

“Frank, Magnone, and Netzer have created a framework that systematically challenges human cognitive biases, providing a methodical approach that allows decision makers to see meaningful patterns in a chaos of data. This book is a foundational guide to any executive on how to leverage the power of your System 1 intuition to make meaningful data driven business decisions at speed.”
—TODD TRAUTZ, Chief Innovation and Solutions Officer, Maru, author of Feel, Behave, Think − The Pathway to Human Decision Making

“High-stakes decision making boils down to seeking truth and getting things ‘approximately right’. Several quantitative-only methods run the risk of getting it ‘precisely wrong’ while offering a false sense of security. Techniques described in Decisions Over Decimals lead you to the truth and improve the odds of getting to balanced business decisions.”
ASIF HASAN, Co-Founder, Quantiphi, Inc

“Decisions over Decimals is an excellent reminder that as we navigate vast seas of information, we must bring our intuition along on the journey. This book is a must read for any insights and analytic professionals that want to enhance their ability to impact and influence decisions to drive action.”
—THOMAS WALKER, Senior Director, Global Consumer Insights

"The ability to make fast, yet informed decisions in a world where data is replicating so quickly is becoming an imperative skill-set for executives. The authors approach for Quantitative Intuition is a great balance of data and insights with experience. Readers will greatly benefit from learning this balance and using it to make better decisions (and actions)."
—TRACI GUSHER, Data, Analytics and AI Management Consultant

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