If there are two things that get us excited here in Syncopation's Bangor, Maine office, they are probability and SNOW! Thus, we were all very pleased to see this graphic from the National Weather Service's Caribou office posted on twitter:


Oil prices are so not surprising

We don't usually use this space to comment on swings in the commodity markets, but the recent and ongoing plunge in oil prices is hard to ignore. For people in the energy industry, the news is generally bad, whether they're in petroleum or its alternatives. For most others, the news is good, akin to the economic tailwind provided by a broad based tax cut.

Fresh Air in the Discussion of Risk -- SpaceX

I have to admit I often moan and groan when companies quoted in the press make stupid statements about uncertainty, or reveal that their decision making is horribly risk averse to the detriment of their shareholders/stakeholders. Conversely, I feel almost obligated to note the occasion when a business leader speaks intelligently about risk. In this case that would be Elon Musk of SpaceX.


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.

Information Only Has Value if it Could Change Your Decision

A recent article from the Bangor Daily News provides a colorful illustration of the principle, long known to decision analysts, that the value of information is zero if the information couldn't change your decision. "Man charged after he asked police for a Breathalyzer test, was told not to drive, then drove anyway"

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.


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