Category Archives: Includes Interactive Decision Model

Decision intelligence for data center disaster planning

Much of the world’s information is handled in data centers: nondescript on the outside, indoors you’ll find a din of humming machine in acres of racks.  If an earthquake or other natural disaster should strike a data center, the cost can be enormous.

So spending money on risk mitigation strategies like earthquake-proofing makes sense.

But it’s a tricky balancing act: spend too much for a disaster that never happens, and it’s money down the drain.  Spend too littledatacenter, and a disaster can spell tremendous costs.

A decision model can help.  We built a demonstration of one shown in the video above, at the link here, and in the bottom of this article, for those viewing this online.

Give it a try, it takes about one minute: Continue reading

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Decision Intelligence in conflict and disaster recovery

In our years building decision intelligence models for domains like banking, telecom, and more, the project that I am most proud of is the work that we did for Liberia in collaboration with The Carter Center.

The basic idea: countries are complex systems. Understanding how to recover after a conflict or disaster can be a particular challenge. Decision makers often end up working accidentally at cross purposes, due to shared, but invisible, mental models of a situation. This often produces unintended negative consequences. Continue reading

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Predictive analytics is not enough

The idea of predictive analytics can seem like magic: how, really, can a computer predict the future? Yet we’ve seen a lot of success based on this advanced technology in recent years, from Netflix to Amazon, Google, and more. These companies mine a massive amount of data every day for patterns, and it drives massive revenues.

However, for a widespread class of situations, predictive analytics alone aren’t enough. Consider the decision model below, which I introduced in my last post. The blue graphs on the right-hand side are based on predictive analytics, but they are only building blocks in the full model.  They are not enough on their own.

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Announcing interactive web-based decision intelligence

At Quantellia, we’ve been delivering enterprise-scale, desktop- and PC-based decision intelligence models to our clients for a few years now, using our World Modeler™ software.  In the last few months, every single one of our clients has asked for our work to be delivered through a web interface, so we’ve been heads-down in delivery and development to meet their needs.  These are not available to be viewed by the general public, however, so I’ve spent the last few days building a demonstration to show you what we do, and as part of my answer to a recent Quora question on Agency theory as well as Mark’s upcoming talk on this topic at MLConf Seattle.

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Towards two-marshmallow government

There’s a well-known psychological experiment, where children are offered a marshmallow, and told that if they could wait a few minutes before eating it, they’d get two. The kids who could handle the delayed gratification were more successful in later life.

I visited a city on the east coast of the US recently, and was surprised to see deteriorated infrastructure—cracking sidewalks and broken walls—right next to brand-new construction. On the plane back, my seatmate—a long-term resident—expressed her frustration with city planners. “They seem to have a bit of tunnel vision,” she explained, going on to say that the lack of a light rail and a downtown sports center were also symptoms of short-term thinking. Fearful of the construction impact, local residents voted these initiatives down.

Like the one-marshmallow kids, these residents weren’t able to envision a future in which a short-term cost led to a much greater long-term benefit. Continue reading

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