How Can Businesses Make Better Decisions?

Striving to make better decisions is critical for business.

You make about 35,000 decisions a day, ranging from the very small and insignificant to the large and consequential. Considering how many decisions are made collectively across an organisation, it takes a lot of brainpower to keep organisations running.

Decision-making is a huge resource drain. This, combined with the scarcity of knowledge, makes businesses struggle to scale. 

In a perfect world, you would have all the time and resources you need to make the best decisions possible. However, the reality is that no business is in that unique position. So how do you leverage your resources and make effective decisions consistently?

Is automation the answer?

Business is anything but a series of simple decisions, and difficult decisions can be assisted with additional robotic tools. However, until recently, nothing has come close to being able to replicate complex decision-making on a scale that firms desperately need.

A type of Decision Automation developed by Rainbird uses AI to deploy rules and combine them with expert knowledge. Rainbird is unique because it is non-linear, meaning that has the capacity to reason as a human would. Rainbird provides businesses with accurate and auditable decisions, even when the data is complex or irregular.

But why should companies trust decision-making software? Other than being tried and tested across several use cases, Rainbird only knows as much as your best experts. Automated decision-making AI is a tool, which experts can use to scale their knowledge without bias or noise clouding their judgements. As a result, firms are achieving the best outcomes possible.

What interrupts effective decision-making?

Interruptions incur a cost in time, information, and effort. If a business wants to make fast and consistent decisions, it makes sense to identify and eliminate interruptions.

The hidden and high cost of interruptions within the decision-making process is referred to as “noise.” Noise results in slow and inconsistent decision-making. In some cases, noise is unavoidable, like cognitive bias, fluctuations in mood, and social context that result in variability of judgement. While in others it can be more insidious and completely avoidable, such as racial or gender prejudice.

All of this speaks to the hard truth, that humans are inefficient decision-makers. For example, when software developers were asked to estimate the completion time for the same task, their answers differed by 71%. Additionally, over 70% of senior executives believe that good and bad business decisions occur in equal frequency

AI can remove much of what makes our decisions bad or inaccurate by eliminating noise and maintaining consistency.

How do we make decision-making more effective?

Decision-making is a demanding cognitive process that depends on an interaction of attention, perception and memory. Bad decision-making takes its toll upon organisations. Optimism bias, poor comparisons, automatic thinking, past experiences and individual opinions can all contribute to bad outcomes for businesses.

Essentially, there are seven phases that must be completed in order for an accurate decision to be made. These are:

  • Decision identification
  • Information gathering
  • Considering alternatives
  • Weighing the evidence
  • Choosing the best course
  • Taking action
  • Review

These factors affect the quality of decisions in many ways, and humans complete the steps above in a number of seconds for most decisions they make.

As mentioned above, humans are subject to vast amounts of noise and daily distractions that affect their judgments, which is problematic. There are also external changes to consider, such as market fluctuations, trends, data, and government regulations. There is so much involved in decision-making that it is easy to miss any of the vital steps above and unintentionally set your business, or your customers, down the wrong path.

How is AI-assisted decision-making proving its value?

Another reason that innovative firms are placing trust in decision-making software is its ability to eliminate the noise and bias that cloud effective decision-making. It weighs up options based on gathered information and presents the next best actions with a degree of certainty. Software like Rainbird essentially serves up a smorgasbord of potential solutions for experts to choose from, all within seconds rather than hours or weeks.

The award-winning tax firm BDO just announced that they have doubled their customer-base thanks to support from automated tax credit decision-making software. During the global pandemic’s height, automated triage decision-making assessed thousands of front-line staff and kept them safe. 

As our global community grows, so does the noise that disrupts our decision-making. As one problem is solved, another is created. Despite the growing population we simply lack enough resources – or consistency and efficiency – to deal with emerging issues effectively, and quickly.

Can AI-assisted automation free us from bad decisions?

The bottom line is that, if we want to sculpt an automated future that is safe, profitable, and efficient, now is the time to embrace decision-making automation.

We’ve long since had machines to do heavy labour, so now automation is coming online to free up people’s time. This allows businesses to focus on services that require a human touch. Ultimately, if we don’t trust AI to free us from tedious tasks, and help us maintain the correct course through effective and consistent decision-making, then we’ll never accomplish all that we’re capable of doing.

For more information on how your organisation can benefit from Rainbird’s automated decision-making, contact us for a free demo.