A simple acronym that can sometimes simplify, or help, our decision-making process. This is something that we often used during our Summer Camps at PSE when dealing with major issues or difficult situations. It gives a mental framework as to what steps to take before taking action and what information needs to be gathered in order to set ourselves up for the best possible outcome.
Data is, and should always be, at the start of every important decision. Without Data, there is little tangible evidence or quantitative proof or information of what needs to be changed or what doesn’t need to. Without Data, instinct is our only driver. Data does not always need to be hard rows of numbers; it can be going to simply gather information from the different parties involved in a decision, or even talk to stakeholders to understand their objectives and needs.
Analysis: the data needs to be understood, studied, regressed and bootstrapped in order to squeeze the key points or metrics that are relevant in the discussion. If the data is intangible, it still needs to be analysed to understand the needs and objectives of the parties involved. The analysis provides the basis for the decision that has to be made.
Decision and Action: once the data has been gathered and analysed, a decision has to be taken and implemented. And once that decision is actioned, it is also important to monitor and obtain feedback as to how the decision is having an impact on the parties involved and in particular if it aligns with the analysis made earlier in the process. It is also important to always keep in mind that not taking an action is a decision in itself.
Non-action is a decision.