Managers are usually rewarded when they make bold, “gut-instinct” decisions that result in a financial payoff. However, research has proven that those instances are rare and that intuition-based decision making typically leads to negative outcomes. In fact, as companies mature in their analytic capabilities they naturally come to the realization that while they were making a profit they often were not taking the best course of action.
Today, the ubiquity of open, real-time transaction systems makes it possible to exploit the statistical tools of experimentation and simulation to test the potential impact of new business tactics before they are deployed. The same mathematical techniques used in medical and other scientific labs, when applied correctly, lead to major improvements in the business decision making process. Small, well-designed experiments produce a wealth of data that, when subjected to advanced analytics, yield profitable knowledge at immaterial costs. Additionally, incorporating insights from these experiments into a mathematical simulation is the most powerful method for looking into the future or understanding the effects of having made the decision retroactively. Whether you are trying to predict the impact of modifying your website navigation or the reaction to a change in HR policy, OWL can deploy controlled experiments that will highlight the issues and opportunities in your intended approach.