Decisions Over Decimals - Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

Decisions Over Decimals - Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

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4 (19 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 150 x 254 x 21mm | 530g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 111989848X
  • 9781119898481
  • 561,013

Flap copy

What distinguishes a person who makes smart, confident data-driven decisions? It is not exceptional analytic skills or rare expertise. Instead, successful leaders balance data, experience, and intuition. They quickly sort through information, apply judgment, and are fierce interrogators who cultivate sharp insights. They apply first-order principles to understand what the decision really is, why it must be taken, by when, and to what end. In short, they make intelligent decisions with incomplete information.

In Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information, the authors--three seasoned executives and renowned educators--deliver a pragmatic blueprint to frame issues and navigate to data-informed answers. They marry original and insightful research with frontline experience to put forward a set of techniques called Quantitative Intuition (QI)(TM). The authors demonstrate how to bridge two skills--interrogation and intuition--or in plain English "context" and "surprise" to find answers without retreating into the comfort of more data.

QI is the product of years of discovery about making effective and efficient decisions. This book dives into this proven method to reimagine finding answers with the best available data while not wading aimlessly in a sea of information.

Decisions Over Decimals is not only designed to be read, but frequently referenced as the reader faces innumerable decision moments. It is the hands-on manual for confident, accurate decision-making you've been looking for; it is one of those rare resources that describes how to lead in a data-driven world.
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Back cover copy

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
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Table of contents


Prologue: The Certainty Myth

Quantitative Intuition (QI)

Why Combine Quantitative Analysis with Intuition

Biases from Working Intuitively

Biases from Working with Data

Chapter 1: Powerful Questions

Road to Powerful Questioning

Precision Questioning

The Power of Precision Questions

Building an Inquisitive Team Culture

The Smartest Person in the Room

Key Learnings from Powerful Questions

Chapter 2: Framing the Problem

IWIK: A Tool for Reasoning

The IWIK Process

Framing the Decision

Key Learnings from IWIKs

Chapter 3: Working Backward to Move Forward

Defining the Problem by Working Backward

Step 1: Create a Decision Tree

Step 2: Write the Blueprint of Your Delivery Using IWIKs

Step 3: Reverse Engineer Your Data and Analysis Map

Harnessing Inside- versus Outside-of-the-Box Thinking

Working Backward: Taking the Road Less Traveled

Key Learnings from Working Backward from a Decision

Chapter 4: Learning to Become a Fierce Data Interrogator

Part 1: Assessing the Data and Its Reliability

What Data Was Collected?

What Data Am I Not Seeing?

Can I Trust the Data and Analyses?

Part 2: Putting the Data in Context

Part 3: Pressure Testing Your Analysis

Key Learnings from Learning to Become a Fierce Data Interrogator

Chapter 5: Developing Intuition: The Power of Approximation

The Power of Approximations: Approximating Market Sizing

Learning to Approximate

Approximating in Practice

Why Guesstimation Works

Getting Comfortable with Approximations

Consider Approximation in Context

Statistical Significance Doesn't Mean Managerial Relevance

Guesstimation in the QI Framework

Key Learnings from Learning to Approximate

Chapter 6: From Analysis to Synthesis: Connecting the Dots

What Is Synthesis?

Make Your Bottom Line Your Top Line

Why Is Synthesis Hard?

How Do We Encourage Synthesis?

Moving from "What?" to "So What?" and "Now What?"

Key Learnings from Synthesis: Connecting the Dots

Chapter 7: The Decision Moment

Dimensions of the Decision Moment

The First Two Dimensions: Time and Risk

The Third Dimension: Trust

Striving for Measurement across Time, Risk, and Trust

Allocating Time

Measuring Risk

Measuring Trust

Reversibility and the Decision Moment

Navigating Ambiguity and Uncertainty

From IWIKs to Decisions

Key Learnings from the Decision Moment

Chapter 8: Delivering the Decision

The Story Arc in Decision-Making

Inner Voice and External Reality

Inform versus Compel

Key Learnings from Delivering the Decision

Chapter 9: Chasing the Decision

Why We Wind Up Chasing the Decision

Strategy 1: Create the Case for the Decision

Strategy 2: Frame the Outcome

Strategy 3: Classify the Type of Decision

Strategy 4: Reduce the Scope of the Decision

Strategy 5: Right Size the Decision-Makers to the Decision Moment

Strategy 6: Pressure Test Decisions

Strategy 7: Seek Consent Not Consensus

The Perfect Decsion Is an Illusion

Key Learnings from Chasing the Decision

Chapter 10: Building the Quantitative Intuition (QI) Team

The QI Skill Set

Building a QI Team

Your QI Role within Your Organization

Key Learnings from Hiring

Chapter 11: What's Next in Data-Driven Decision-Making?


Predictions and the Digital Twin

The Rise of Probabilistic versus Deterministic Thinking




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About Cj Frank

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 (TM) 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.
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Rating details

4 out of 5 stars
- 19 ratings
5 26% (5)
4 47% (9)
3 26% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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