Steve: Applying Intelligent Analysis to a high-stakes decision means slowing down the decision-making process long enough to a) objectively examine the supporting data and analytics, b) counter cognitive biases and organizational influence, and c) flush out expert opinions which would otherwise be unheard. A good analogy for this slow-down is the widely-used traffic management device of speedbumps. Speedbumps don’t change a car trip’s ultimate destination, or its driver, or the vehicle being driven. They merely reduce its speed through an apparently clear stretch of road where serious accidents have been known to occur or are liable to occur.
Jay: This analogy is a good one. When drivers come across a speedbump, not only do they have to slow down in order to avoid damage to their vehicle and discomfort to the passengers, they’re also prompted to look around for the non-obvious danger conditions which prompted installation of the speedbump, such as children playing, cyclists, or elderly residents. Each of the steps in Intelligent Analysis is like a speedbump and, if skipped or ignored, there can be serious consequences. Our method doesn’t affect how an organization reaches its decision. What it does do is stress-test the decision, by examining the data supporting the assumptions which have to hold true in order for the decision to result in success.