How Can Leaders Use Data to Make Better Decisions?

Columbia Business School Professors Oded Netzer, Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone discuss their new book, Decisions Over Decimals, which offers a roadmap for effective decision-making when using data.

Data & Business Analytics

Oded Netzer: This book comes out of the class Leading in a Data-Driven World that we've been teaching collectively here at Columbia Business School for the last seven years.

We've noticed that there is a struggle with making decisions with data, and part of this struggle is due to the fact that people tend to think they need to be a math whiz to deal with data, or they think they need to be an Excel whiz, and nothing could be further from the truth.

We've noticed that people believe the skills needed to make decisions with data are not actually the right skills, which led us to ask ourselves: what are the skills they need? Why are we having more data than we ever had, and yet decisions don't seem to be improving?

Christopher Frank: There are tips and tricks on how you do this, and other techniques that we could codify, and so we decided to put them down on paper and share those lessons from the front lines.

Paul Magnone: I think we all realize that there's a lot of waste in the business world when it comes to how decisions are made. And I, for one, am fatigued by all the wasted time and the lack of efficiency, and the lack of focus. So what we're hoping to do is not just put out really solid work, but also hopefully convert some folks into making decisions in a better way.

Read more about the class Leading in a Data-Driven World, taught by Oded Netzer, the Arthur J. Samberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, with adjunct professors of business Christopher Frank, vice president at American Express, and Paul Magnone, head of global strategic alliances at Google.

Discover more about Decisions Over Decimals.

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