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Making Effective Decisions With Predictive Reasoning

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Being able to make effective decisions has never been more critical to humanity's future. All of us are trying to navigate an uncertain future, seeking to make the best decisions which maximise opportunities and avoid errors. Across the globe we face unprecedented environmental, economic, geo-political, and societal challenges. These challenges are amplified for institutions, governments, multilateral bodies, and industry leaders - both in terms of the magnitude of their potential outcomes, but also the scope of the problems they face.

In an ideal world, to make good decisions and plan for the future we can learn from our past mistakes and successes, gradually zero-ing in on the right method, and thus maximize our accuracy. This learning process is the bedrock of how we can become experts at something. However, this is where we face a fundamental issue: The problems we are trying to navigate are hard. Often we are trying to develop a strategy, make an investment, or design and implement a policy of which we may only find out an outcome years in the future. Any limited feedback we receive is often unclear, and there are often myriad extraneous factors that a) impact the outcome, and b) can excuse inaccuracy of the original prediction.

So where does this leave us? When we cannot rely on learning from outcomes, we must instead turn to the quality of our reasoning process.

Fortunately, human beings have been interested in the process of reasoning for thousands of years, and empirically for over a century. In recent years, cognitive psychology, computer science, and experimental philosophy (among other related branches), have made great strides in two, critical ways:

First, the identification of biases and errors - confirmation bias, scope neglect, group think, to name a few. There are systematic errors in the ways we select information, put it together, and update our beliefs about the world. We may adopt an overly narrow view when selecting relevant information, under/over estimate the strength of that information, and neglect the impact of our prior beliefs. These errors do not just act in isolation, but can compound to produce even greater inaccuracies.

Second, science has developed a number of methods and processes that can assist us in navigating complex, uncertain reasoning endeavours. These include techniques that allow us to structure problems, standardize and quantify our estimations, and methods that allow us to integrate our facts/information to reach a much more accurate answer (e.g., Bayesian inference). All of these reduce sources of errors and biases, improves decision accuracy, and builds reasoning transparency that facilitates accountability and learning.

We have started Daymark.DI because we believe the greatest asset any organisation has is its decision-making process. The right process empowers staff, builds a shared purpose, facilitates an inclusive and diverse culture, and fully utilises the wealth of knowledge within each individual to reach the most accurate, effective, and efficient decisions.

At Daymark.DI, we help you by drawing on our expertise in decision science, and cognitive and computational psychology, and experience working with and within some of the most influential institutions in the world. We do this through three services:

  1. Consultative Partnerships - where we work with you to review your current processes, before recommending and helping you to implement methods that promise to deliver more effective and efficient decision-making.

  2. Tailored workshops - where we provide relevant, interactive, and highly engaging training on reasoning techniques that you can draw on to support decision making.

  3. Daymark.DI Decision Platform - utilise the wisdom within your organisation to appraise options and inform decision making through our unique ‘Credence’ application; or benefit from the power of generative artificial intelligence to structure your reasoning and challenge your judgements.

We don't do snake oil. Our methods are underpinned by rigour and robust scientific research. The right strategy decision leads to coherent and deliverable actions; the right investment decision leads to higher financial returns; the right policy decision leads to a wealthier, happier, and healthier society. Working with Daymark.DI leads to the right decision.

Together we can solve the challenges we face today and reach the opportunities the future holds. We need only to find the right path.

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