In a world where data is as abundant as clarity is elusive, mastering the discipline of decision-making is more important than ever. Many organizations and leaders fall short at decision-making, approaching it intuitively rather than analytically. For those in charge of an organization where success relies on their ability to optimize business decisions, a mystery remains: What does it take to master the art of decision-making? Our latest research aims to answer this question, so stay tuned as we delve deeper into the art and science of business decision-making, uncovering insights that can transform the way you lead and succeed. Participate in our research! We invite you to take our 5-minute survey or reach out to Gabby Raymond to schedule an interview.

The Dimensions Of Data-Driven Decisions

Different decisions carry different weights. For instance, launching a new product might be a multimillion-dollar investment in marketing, supply chain, and operational changes while a more routine decision could be choosing a color scheme for an email marketing campaign. To make more optimal decisions, it’s important to approach the decision-making process tactically. While our deductive powers and intuition might be limited, enterprises can refine a decision-making strategy by applying the same analytical techniques used by data scientists and business analysts.

The first step is recognizing that decisions are multidimensional. You can think of each dimension as a data point, and for each dimension you are able to identify, that leaves one less unknown variable to consider. Some of these dimensions might include:

  • Timeline. How quickly does a decision need to be made? Some decisions require immediate action, while others benefit from more deliberate analysis.
  • Reliability of data. How trusted is the data needed to inform the decision? Depending on how well you trust the information to which you have access, consider the pros and cons of investing in gathering more reliable data before making the final call.
  • Expertise. What skills or expertise are needed to inform or make the decision? If the decision falls within a niche or highly technical domain, you may need to expand the scope of stakeholders to include SMEs.
  • Interdependence. Can this decision be made independent of other decisions? Consider whether making this decision is contingent upon others being made outside of your or your group’s purview, and vice versa.

Use The Right Investigative Framework

There is no shortage of decision-making frameworks available, from making a simple pros and cons list to more sophisticated models such as the Cynefin Framework. The challenge lies in knowing which framework to use in a given situation. Determining this might include:

  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different decision-making frameworks.
  • Researching case studies of similar projects to understand how different approaches perform in practice.
  • Consulting with an external partner to gain insights on the most effective frameworks based on your use case.

While these tactics are a good place to start, the magic really kicks in when you utilize the decision dimensions as part of a larger equation. Taking the time to identify the specifics of your situation and using them as inputs for selecting the ideal framework will get you closer to an outcome that is more aligned with your business objectives.

Improve your decision-making with Forrester. Follow Brandon Purcell and Aldila Yunus’ research on decisions, and consider participating in this ongoing research effort by taking our 5-minute survey or scheduling an interview with us.