Imperfect Information: The Decision Analysis Blog

Big Data and Decision Analysis: From Data to Information to Decision Quality

Most decision analysts greet "Big Data" with considerable scepticism. Eyes roll, arms are crossed, someone mumbles something about driving while looking in the rear view mirror. It's safe to say Big Data hasn't been welcomed with open arms by the DA community.

When some new/rebranded management science thing comes along, we can react in one of several ways:

   0. This thing is worthless rubbish.
   1. This thing isn't new, we've been doing this all along.

When is a Decision Analysis Model Too Simple?

I'm often asked to comment on or critique someone else's decision analysis model, and I'm actually happy to do so. The space of models is vast, and with each new one there's always the possibility I'll discover something truly new, a flavor of uncertainty or unusual approach to capturing it that I've never thought about before. (Matter of taste I guess ... some people prefer baseball statistics.) Most of the time I'm able to offer suggestions that might improve the model.

As a matter of policy I don't offer an opinion about whether a model is "correct".

Marketer's take on Uses for DPL (Semi-serious)

To start, bravo to Chris Dalton on his entertaining exposé of Unusual uses for DPL (non-serious). I'm sure you had to dig deep for some of those gems.

I welcome an injection of humor into my workday in the form of odd uses of DPL in the Trial feedback form, especially considering the fact that I skim every single demo download feedback from that lands in our inbox here at Syncopation Software.

Controlling DPL from Windows PowerShell

Are you using PowerShell yet?

PowerShell (aka POSH) is Microsoft's latest scripting environment, consisting of a command line shell and an associated script language. Power users appreciate scripts because they're a quick way to automate repetitive tasks that don't warrant writing a whole new program. While PowerShell is broadly used among IT professionals, many Windows power users who could benefit from it don't know it exists.

Historically, Windows has always been a shell-poor platform.

The Ramsey Medal and the Decision Analysis "Duck Test"

The Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS awards the Frank P. Ramsey Medal each year. "The Ramsey" is the highest honor given by the DAS, and receiving it is a sign of a superlative Decision Analysis career. In Minneapolis this past October, the award was given to Peter P. Wakker.

Unusual uses for DPL (non-serious)

When prospective users download a trial version of DPL from this website, we ask that they fill in a box with a short comment (sometimes as little as a word) on what they plan to do with DPL. Most of the uses described are straightforward and factual: "risk analysis", "valuation", "evaluate strategic alternatives", etc. However, some creative people feel the need to enter a "use" that is unusual, funny and/or obscene. While we value the serious responses, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy some of the smart aleck ones.

2014 INFORMS annual meeting recap

We're back from the analytical pow-wow that is the INFORMS annual meeting. As usual, we reconnected with old friends and colleagues, listened to talks stimulating and sedating, and handed out some schwag from our booth in the exhibit hall. Speaking of schwag, our stainless steel water bottles were very well received, and some visitors even said they were the best handouts at the show.


Counting down to the INFORMS annual meeting

The INFORMS Annual Meeting, or more specifically the track of technical sessions sponsored by the Decision Analysis Society, constitutes the largest assembly of Decision Analysis researchers and practitioners in the world. This is important for a company like Syncopation because decision analysts (and related professionals) tend to be spread thinly across academia and industry, and there are few opportunities to find a large number of them in one place.


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