The last couple of decades have seen phenomenal growth in the use of experiments in business decision-making. Hundreds of small to large scale experiments are continuously being conducted by social networking companies like Facebook, transportation network companies like Uber, retail giants like Walmart, car manufacturers like Toyota, financial service providers like Capital One, technology companies like Apple, etc. for making critical business decisions. Experimental approaches are helping companies across sectors and geographies to find effective and efficient strategies for improving their products and services.
Experiments drive innovation. Organizations use experimental results for improving the quality of online social interactions, developing new pricing and operational strategies, enhancing physical and online retail experiences, attracting more customers, improving performance of products, and so on. Experiments are gradually becoming principal tools for prudent decision-making that promote business value and growth.
While we know that experiments are powerful and while some businesses have embraced the approach, others have been relatively slow or hesitant in adopting experiments. The use of experiments for decision-making has not yet picked up in India. The predominant approach is to make predictions based on past trends, which is useful, but do not always provide insights on implications of innovative, bold decisions.
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The “Experiments for Business Decisions” programme will help businesses to make rigorous evidence-based decisions based on experiments, instead of relying solely on “gut feel” or “common sense.”
The goal of this programme is to encourage organizations to develop an experimental mind-set and adopt systematic “test and learn” approaches for drawing the right conclusions. The programme will impart critical skills for the design of experiments, their analysis, and the interpretation of results. Learnings from this programme will be relevant for marketing strategy to human resource management, from business policy to production and operations planning, and from pricing to product design.
The main objective of this programme is to equip business managers with skills necessary to design experiments within their domain of work. Participants will learn the value of experiments and experimental approaches, evaluate when and where experiments are useful, explore what insights can be gained from experimental settings, and recognise the advantages and limitations of experiments. In sum, participants will learn about various experimental approaches, and develop frameworks for interpreting, designing and analysing experiments.
We will also conduct in-depth discussions of selected cases across sectors/domains – all of which are designed to emphasize that an experimental approach towards decision-making is an essential tool in the hands of a manager.
A workshop supervised by IIMA faculty will provide participants the opportunity to design experiments that are easy to implement, and can yield quick and clear insights for their own businesses.
1. Introduction to strategic decision-making and business policy evaluation using:
• Field experiments (randomized controlled trials)
• Natural experiments and quasi-experimental methods
• Lab experiments
2. Application of experiments in various disciplines such as:
• Strategy and operations
• Human resource management
• Information systems
• Behavioural economics
3. Workshop for solving real-world business problems using experiments
Individuals in a decision-making role in organizations across industry sectors; entrepreneurs.