Decision Analysis

Moving from Analyzing Datasets to Decisions in DPL

We've discussed "Big Data" within our Imperfect Information blog in the past -- with a moderately critical tone. (See Big Data and DA) When it comes to Big Data us DA folks think far too much emphasis is put on the past and how many terabytes one can unearth and not the value (or lack thereof) that the wodges of data can bring to your decisions.

How the DPL Software Stacks Up Against Other Decision Tree Software Tools

As a market leader in decision analytic tools, we confidently stand by our claim that DPL is the most powerful, full featured application for decision tree and influence diagram modeling on the market today. DPL offers a dedicated, standalone graphical modeling interface for performing decision and risk analyses, Monte Carlo simulation, and Real Option valuation. The tool's flexibility and intuitiveness allow you to model the characteristics specific to your decisions with a precision unmatched by our competitors.

Please Don't Use Words to Define Probabilities

In this space we often write about the do's and don'ts of probability assessment and working with uncertainty in general. One of the most fundamental don'ts is that you should not use words to define probabilities. You should more than avoid it, you should never do it. A 15% chance of something happening is exactly that: a 15% chance. Write it as 0.15 if you like, but don't call it a "moderate risk" or say it "probably won't happen".

The 2016 Decision Analysis Society Practice Award

Have you done work in decision analysis that was truly exceptional, either in its quality, impact or degree of benefit to the stakeholders? Why not share your experiences with your peers and be recognized for your contribution?

The Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS conducts an annual competition to recognize outstanding use of decision analysis in solving actual real world problems.

Flipping the Arcs: An Introduction to DPL's Bayesian Revision Feature

"...we do not gain all our experience at once, but by degrees; thus our determinations continue to be assailed incessantly by fresh experience; and the mind, if we may use the expression, must always be 'under arms'."

-Carl von Clausewitz

Decision Engineering: Keeping the Decision Factory Humming

The subject of Decision Engineering has been gathering increasing attention, most recently with this article in IEEE Roundup.

Decision {insert any noun in the English language} ...

Among some of my decision, uh, interested friends and colleagues, there's a certain skepticism about new terms that start with the word "decision".

HBR on Chevron's Approach to Decision Making

Larry Neal and Carl Spetzler have a recent article in Harvard Business Review which explains Chevron's multi-decade commitment to Decision Quality (of which Decision Analysis is a key part).

This is a bit like when that alternative band you've been listening to forever ends up playing on Saturday Night Live -- you think "Gee, I thought nobody else knew they were good".

What is the decision? Or, common disorders of the decision pyramid

A recent post by Steve Barrager on LinkedIn got me thinking about decisions, and in particular, the framing choices that lead to the identification of the focus decisions an analytical project will consider.

In many cases, the main decision is pretty obvious. Should we fund this R&D project? What should we bid for this lease?

Thoughts on HBR IdeaCast's Ron Howard interview

The 50th birthday of Decision Analysis led to an interview (podcast and transcript here) of Ron Howard in the HBR IdeaCast series. Judging from social media it's been attracting some attention in the DA community, and one hopes more broadly. This is the sort of thing I'd like to see more of, DA mavens interacting with members of the media who are business oriented but not part of the DA or even OR/MS choir.

INFORMS annual meeting day zero: Decision Analysis celebrates its 50th birthday

Decision Analysis has reached a certain age. As with most ideas, decision analysis came about over a period of time, but the official methodological dating committee has deemed Ron Howard's 1964 paper, "Decision Analysis: Applied Decision Theory" to be the day the stork arrived. To celebrate, DAS and SDP organized a pre-informs session featuring talks, drinks and dinner, held the day before the start of the INFORMS annual meeting (call it INFORMS day zero).

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