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Field notes are notes I leave myself as I go through my day to day work. The hope is that other people will also find these notes useful. Note that these notes are unfiltered and unverified.

Making Business Decisions


TJ Palanca


August 7, 2022

Business requires you to make decisions, and decisions (not time) drives your business forwards. Here are some of my thoughts about how we related data science (decision science) to business decisions.

Decisions drive the business forward. In order to make good decisions, you’ll need to use some evidence, i.e. qualitative or quantitative data. For those who are still on the fence about using data, see this video:

Deciding what business questions to focus on

  • Think of the potential upside or downside impact on a particular metric if we are able to shed some light on a particular decision.
  • Some decisions are essentially downward flag decisions - if we are able to find useful positive evidence we continue what we would have been doing anyway, if we are not then we just spent a lot of time proving that something works
  • Changes to the status quo are what’s important

Exploration vs exploitation

  • It’s also very important to distinguish when you are performing exploratory work, where the priority is to demonstrate some opportunity, and exploitative work, where the priority is to capture or generate value as much as possible.

Actionable insight

  • Actionable insight is such an overrated term. We can focus on gathering facts and then synthesizing that into a view of the business.
  • Dashboards are not a constant source of insights - there must be some qualitative information available.