The science of decision making

Professor Stewart Robinson, Dean, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University 

Today there is no shortage of data - so how can business executives make sense of all this information to drive their decision-making? While data science extracts useful knowledge from data, it does not go as far as recommending what action should be taken. Executives need to be able to turn data into decisions. Further, there remain many decision situations where plentiful data are not available. Data science is unable to help in these settings. As such, executives need more than data science, they need a decision science.

Decision science provides rigorous approaches to help executives make decisions in situations where data are plentiful and also when there is a paucity of data. Examples range from forecasting sales, through optimising staff rosters and supply chain operations, to strategic decision-making in complex environments. Decision science provides the basis for consistently making good decisions.

A good decision is one that makes best use of the available information. Because information is rarely perfect, decision science cannot guarantee that executives will always make the right decision. However, it can ensure greater success in decision making by improving the quality of decisions that are taken.

The School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University has significant expertise in decision science. Our experts work in information management, efficiency and productivity analysis, operational research, analytics and decision making across business functions. As an example, our experts have developed a risk management framework that facilitates timely decision-making for managing complex bio-security threats. The framework has recently been employed by DEFRA and the Pan-American Health Organisation.

The School provides educational programmes in decision science, including short courses for managers. We are advancing knowledge in decision science through research projects and PhD studies. Apart from educational programmes, as a business you can engage with us through student projects, student placements and internships, commissioned research and consultancy.

Improve the quality of your decisions; engage with Decision Science at Loughborough University