The quantitative approach in decision making is all about leveraging the scientific approach to identifying the root cause of the problem and making well-informed data-backed, and well-defined decisions. This analysis encompasses factors such as revenue, price-to-earnings ratio, and liabilities and each of these factors are measurable. The key techniques that are globally leveraged are:

· Mathematical Programming – This approach revolves around using a mathematical model for explaining the problem area and determining the solution amongst the alternatives available.

. Cost-Benefit Analysis- This is approach measures the social and cost benefits of an action or a decision whilst negating the cost associated with the decision. Here, the cost is not only measured in terms of tangible currency but also terms of impact.

· Linear Programming- This approach focuses on optimizing resources using a linear equation. This can be applied in the scenario where there is a linear connection between the two factors involved.

· Expected Value- This approach concerns itself with evaluating outcomes of certain actions based on the concept ofprobability and possibility. The approach comes to aid when a decision-maker is pitted against multiple choices of action and the outcomes for each are uncertain.

· Decision Tree- This approach revolves around creating a concept map of actions, processes and possible outcomes. This is applied in a case where there is a potential for sequential decisions. The decision tree approach lays bare all possible actions and outcomes thereby, making it easier to make decisions.

· Simulation- This approach revolves around studying real-time action and its impact. Mostly applicable to ‘what if’ problems, simulations are cost-effective ways of experimentation and testing.

· Information Theory- ‘Information’ is the most critical aspect of any decision. This theory offers a mathematical foundation for understanding the flow of information and communication networks. This theory helps to measure the efficacy of information available in the content needed for the communication.

So, from the above study of various quantitative tools, we can conclude that the quantitative methods or tools offer the following advantages:

· Quantitative methods leverage DATA and analysis can be conducted in real-time. The vantage point is the data can be collected very easily through surveys and interviews.

· Quantitative research calls for random samples so chances are dim that an imminent ‘bias’ can creep and dilute the decision-making process.

Executive Education: Key to Decisive Decision Making

While theoretically, one would know the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative tools, but it is important to be able to identify which tool fits the given scenario. Decision making is an extremely intuitive process, and it not only needs skills and tools but a subsequent amount of training to optimally leverage both of them. Dr Elliot Jaques,Psychoanalyst and Management Consultant, once said, “If you have made a decision that was entirely based on factual information, you have not made a decision; it was made for you by the facts”.

This cannot be conflicted in any which way, during uncertain and challenging times, it is the intuitive judgements and knowledge that comes together to enable a person to make informed decisions. Here is where executive education steps in to create value. The Executive Program in Business Management, (EPBM) offered by IIM Calcutta in collaboration with Hughes Global Education, is one acclaimed program that effectively enables new age leaders to explore new ideas, evolve continuously and deliver change. The course will effectively address the challenges in decision making and empower the millennial leaders with significant insights to creatively take on a complex problem and transform it into a growth opportunity.