In this article, we explore what is Decision Intelligence, the typical applications of Decision Intelligence, and examples of the benefits seen by businesses from adopting the technology.
Decision Intelligence Defined
Decision intelligence is an interdisciplinary field that applies techniques from artificial intelligence, data analytics, decision theory, and behavioral science to improve decision-making. It uses data-driven approaches and advanced analytics to enhance decision-making processes and outcomes. By integrating quantitative analysis with human expertise, decision intelligence aims to provide insights, recommendations, and support for complex decisions in various domains, optimizing the decision-making process.
Decision Intelligence Overview
More often than not, business departments are siloed. Data is held within departments, even when some online tooling is adopted, or the usual spreadsheets. Data sharing is done in meetings only, with information packs sometimes shared in advance, or via those “water cooler”, serendipity moments. This is much harder to achieve in remote-based teams. Departments are more often than not, striving to achieve specific departmental goals, with limited cross-functional goal sharing.
Businesses that are siloed, make decisions at a snail’s pace, which slows down their growth potential. It does not give you the opportunity to see if I make a decision in department 1, does that help departments 2, 3 and so on? Departments are very much operating in vacuums. This is where Decision Intelligence comes in.
How Does Decision Intelligence Work?
Decision Intelligence is outcome focused. It is there to support commercial decision-making. It works best where there is a need to make repeatable decisions, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly, and it is about making this decision-making process more efficient and reliable. It enables common goals to be shared i.e. the company objective and gives you an interface in which to manage progress towards these common goals, the sharing of data sets, and the assessment of the impact your decisions will have on other departments. In short, it enables shared repeatable decision-making.
Decision Intelligence is a tool that is accessed by all. Whilst being a tool, it is not about replacing the human. It is about human empowerment. Empowering the human user to make better decisions. Decision Intelligence Tools give you the capabilities of AI, i.e. they do the complicated maths or algorithms, and distill the information to support the optimum decision. Presenting the options in simple terms, and the consequences for each option, not only in your own department but cross departments too. Giving users the ability to overlay their own understanding and personal experience.
It is a growing trend too. IDC – The premier global market intelligence firm states:
“In five years’ time, those companies that have not made meaningful progress on Decision Intelligence will feel the same effects as those in consumer-facing businesses that were late to move online”.
Gartner – The technological research and consulting firm states:
"By 2023, more than a third of organisations will be using Decision Intelligence to help make decisions”.
Decision Intelligence in Practice
Pricing and Product Decisions Without Decisions
A pricing role needs to make daily pricing decisions. What price should I publish on my website today? They have to do this, not just for one product, but often for thousands of products. Do I adopt the lowest market price? Do I opt for the average market price? Can I charge a premium price?
A digital marketing role needs to decide on bidding decisions on e.g. Google Shopping. Do I increase, or decrease my spending on certain products? How do I achieve the number 1 position across all my products? Can I grow my organic position?
A purchasing role needs to decide what products to stock. Product A or Product B?
Pricing and Product Decisions With Decision Intelligence
These decisions can all be done in silos, but Decision Intelligence Tools enables you to share data and make decisions to help all these departments. In essence, smarter decisions.
If the purchasing team has access to competitor pricing information, they can see what products the competitors are selling. They can then see the product gaps, and use this information to differentiate. They can even use competitor pricing information to see when competitors drop out of stock – and if they have better relationships with the supplier, double down to take advantage of your competitor's inability to replenish fast enough.
The marketing team can use pricing data to see what products you’re the most expensive in the market. If they’re having to spend loads of money to get the relevancy, they should probably stop spending here. Allocate the bid to other products where they’re more competitive on price.
The pricing team can make use of marketing data to see how pricing can improve conversion, Share of Impressions, Click Throughs etc. These are all indicators of where the greatest impact from pricing decisions will be made.
All the teams are a lot more effective by bringing the data and decision-making together. Decision Intelligence is about bringing the business together. Used correctly, we have seen Cost Per Acquisition cut in half. In effect, by spending the same amount of money on google ads will give you double the number of customers. We have also seen 10% improvements in Impressions, as well as a more stable Impression Share. Stabilised data, makes forward forecasting more accurate and reliable, and also easier to see the impact of particular decisions.