As with many people these days, Ray Wang is spending a lot of time thinking about what the future may look like. As the founder and chairman of technology advisory firm Constellation Research, it’s his job to do so. But as a human being living in an era when the status quo has been thrown out the window, it’s also just plain natural.
So, what has all his pondering led him to conclude? Simply put: We all need to be able to make good decisions, faster.
“I call it ‘decision velocity,’” Ray said during the eighth and final episode of CURIOSITY, a Domo-sponsored video series that ended this week and explored how to “do” data differently. And it’s critical because “getting the highest accuracy possible on precision decisions,” as he put it, is what will enable individuals and organizations alike to not only get in front of the current situation but withstand whatever comes next.
To arrive at a place where decision velocity exists in spades in your organization, there are three things you need to do first, according to Ray and his fellow Episode 8 speakers, TreeHive Strategy principal Donald Farmer and Domo chief design officer Chris Willis …
1 – Ask Different Questions
We’ve not faced a crisis like this before. At least, 99.9% of the world’s population hasn’t. So, we need to observe in ways we haven’t observed before, and we need to think in ways we haven’t thought before.
“Questions are the catalysts for figuring out what happens next,” Ray explained, “and the smarter those questions are, the better off we’re going to be.”
What goes hand in hand with asking questions is experimenting as much as we can, Chris added. And many of us already are.
“We’ve all been thrust into a very convulsive moment and are reacting to it by launching millions of experiments,” he said. “That’s all driven by, ‘What do we need to do? And how do we need to think about it?’ You need to collect a lot of dots before you can start connecting dots, and asking questions and testing ideas is exactly the right place to begin.”
2 – Automate Some Processes
We can’t make better decisions faster if we are inundated with mundane tasks. But we can certainly pawn some of those tasks off to machines—and we should, the trio said.
“Once we automate, we can gain a longitudinal view of what’s going on, and we can start thinking about the patterns—what the trends are, and why they’re there,” Ray said. “And then we can start using analytics and AI to think about what to do next.”
A key part to this particular equation is identifying what humans do well and what machines do well, Chris said. Another part is understanding how each can augment decisions.
In a climate like the one we’re all in now, it can be difficult to make the best choice every time. But as Ray pointed out, we can use the tools we have at our disposal to at least examine implications of decisions that have been made in recent months—and then use that information to make better decisions from there.
3 – Create and Implement Lightweight Apps
With more questions than ever comes the need for solutions. And in a tech-driven world, powerful-yet-lightweight apps are the answer, the speakers said.
“At Domo, one of the things we did very early on (in the pandemic) was start a COVID-19 tracking project,” Chris said. “The idea was to aggregate all the data we could get our hands on so we could understand the situation better internally. But it quickly became a public resource, because obviously we weren’t the only ones interested in—or in need of—that kind of information.”
We’ve all seen the explosion of apps coming. Now it’s here. And as new and complex problems crop up every day in a world we’re all still trying to get our heads around, it’s only getting bigger.
“It’s amazing what we’re seeing,” Chris said. “We can actually design for things like serendipity now because we are at a point where we can pull so much information together and then leverage a lot of different kinds of algorithms and design ideas and technologies to respond to people in the right kind of way.”
To learn more about how you can position your teams to make better decisions faster, and to hear about some of the apps that Ray, Chris and Donald have taken particular notice of this year, watch or listen to Episode 8 of CURIOSITY here.