It is perhaps obvious to say that there are better and worse decision-making processes, tools, and organizational practices. Each individually can be comprehensively approached; it is the management of their integration, the combination of elements to bring an analytics practice ‘to life’, which is complex. In particular, beyond tools and processes, there is a growing need to understand ‘culture’ in terms of organizational decision making maturity.
At present, there is quite a focus on analytics / decision making formal techniques and tools. Two reasons perhaps are that 1) academic research and mathematical proofs related to formal techniques offer ‘falsifiable’ efficacy data, and 2) formal techniques can be codified in software and sold commercially (offering an incentive to focus on formal techniques and tools rather than the organizational processes).
The wealth of formal tools and techniques, however, results in a poverty regarding the consideration of ‘organizational culture’ as related to decision making: is there an ‘experimental’ outlook in the organization, is it acceptable to challenge management decisions based on data anlaytics, is there an openness to redefining existing procedures and policies if experimentation has show more efficient approaches, etc…
Although this touches on organizational ‘analytics culture’, this area could be expanded upon. If we view organizations as ‘sense making’ organisms, then perhaps there are ways to classify and structure organizations more effectively to improve decision-making quality. This should be a pre-requisite to purchasing software or adopting a technique, not an afterthought, which is more often the case. I have witnessed many organizational failures in decision making / analytics implementations because leaders took a “if we build it, they will come” approach, rather than starting with the culture and then implementing the tool / technique.