Bringing Decision Science to the Boardroom

  Over the previous decades, Expert Judgement and Management Experience have been key decision drivers in almost all boardrooms, so much that mid-career learners second guessed the relevance of studying quantitative techniques. One common question from my MBA students went;  "But how can I convince management to take the right decision based on the quantitative analysis when they don't have time to appreciate the approach and the assumptions?" While I appreciate management's insecurity to allow mathematics guide their decisions, and with due respect to their experience, I am confident that the world has changed. Today expert judgement is no longer a thing of just experience, but a combination of 'experience' and 'decision science'. Specific measurable criteria needs to be the basis of opinion and not just experience. The sooner an organization accepts the need to adopt and invest in data science and decision analytics, the easier it will be for her to survive the sharp edges of competition as industry leaders that are adopting early, continue to benefit from precision at a fraction of time and cost while making decisions such as venturing into an investment, choosing a Location, deciding the optimum inventory size to keep,  resource management & resource optimization, choosing an advertising & marketing mix, optimizing prices,  understanding sentiments to maximize customer experience, modeling risk, detecting fraud and all other day to day decision making. It is not about whether we will adopt. The actual problem/question is when? And the wrong answer to questions such as this explains the demise that befell big companies that produced products such as Nokia phones, Kodak picture films, dot matrix printers, VCR's, slide projectors,  floppy disks, and others.