Decision Intelligence In HR: What is it and How to use it?

By Khushbu Verma - Last Updated on August 30, 2019
Decision Intelligence In HR: What is it and How to use it?

We explore decision intelligence, an emerging discipline that is a must-have an asset for HR leaders in the AI era. 

From people analytics and automation to predictive analysis and digital assistants, HR is finally on par with other business functions in the implementation of AI and data analytics. And, while HR is no stranger to these technologies, decision-making HR leaders still rely on human emotional judgment when it comes to business decision-making.

A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group suggests that although 85% of CEO’s believe that AI has the potential to drive exponential value to their businesses, only a few admit on incorporating AI capabilities in their decision-making processes and operations.

AI applications such as predictive analysis provide in-depth insights to leaders via algorithms. But the complexities of business decisions outgrow the potential limits of artificial intelligence. These decisions are also impacted by social, managerial and emotional sciences. And so, the need of the hour is a powerful combination of these sciences that can potentially replicate the workings of a human brain’s neural networks.

This powerful combination has recently emerged as an academic discipline known as Decision Intelligence. In this article, we will explore the applications of Decision Intelligence in HR and how to use them. But before we do that, let’s dig deeper into what is decision intelligence.

What Is Decision Intelligence?

Decision intelligence is an academic discipline that enhances data science with theories from social science, decision theories, and managerial science. By turning information into better actions, decision intelligence manifests the power to improve lives, businesses and the world around them.

This approach to supporting business leaders in complex decision-making goes beyond the quantitative science of mathematical calculations and machine learning algorithms. It augments these operations with a touch of human behavior and decision-making tendencies, creating a more humane blend of quantitative and qualitative sciences.

Cassie Kozyrkov, Decision Intelligence Scientist and Head of Decision Intelligence at Google, suggests that it is a vital science for the AI era, covering the skills needed to lead AI projects responsibly and design objectives, metrics, and safety-nets for automation at scale. Comparing decision intelligence with the analogy of a kitchen, she goes on to say that “if research AI is building microwaves and applied AI is using microwaves, decision intelligence is using microwaves safely to meet your goals and using something else when you don’t need a microwave. The goal is always the starting point for decision intelligence.”

Decision Intelligence kitchen analogy

Image 1: Decision Intelligence Kitchen Analogy

Put simply, decision intelligence is a step ahead of artificial intelligence and data analytics, harnessing the power of these two along with the study of social and managerial sciences, to help business leaders make faster and better decisions. The key advantage of decision intelligence lies in its ability to accommodate the benefits of human judgments like intuitions, and eliminate errors such as biases.

Why does HR Need Decision Intelligence?

HR is a dynamic and strategic function in today’s business landscape. The decisions in HR significantly influence the future of business organizations, implying the importance of thoughtful decision-making. With the right support from decision intelligence, HR decisions can increase operational efficiencies for organizations on multiple levels.

Key Use-Cases of Decision Intelligence in HR:

  • Recruitment: Decision intelligence can assist in identifying nuanced characteristics of candidates better suited for the company culture and role while deciding upon the best recruit from a pool of candidates based on pre-requisites.
  • Performance and Workforce: Qualitative and quantitative data available from historic as well as real-time sources can aide decision intelligence to advocate for non-biased performance measurements and workforce decisions.
  • Skills assessment: With insightful data on employee skill availability provided by people analytics, decision intelligence can enhance the efficiency of the project allocation process.
  • Budgets: By identifying cost centers, effective recruitment channels, performance insights, and other cost-related data, decision intelligence can aide accurate budget-related decision-making.

Best Practices in Decision Intelligence for HR

While the applications of decision intelligence are multi-fold, some best practices can be observed to get the best outcomes from this mechanism. Ensuring high data quality is of utmost priority as data forms that basis of decision intelligence operations. The same applies to the handling of data, which impacts the fine-tuning of data algorithms with social and managerial sciences. Eliminating biases is a crucial step in effective decision-making and is cited to be a primary human-based error.

Parting Words

Decision Intelligence is a powerful tool with the ability to facilitate faster, more accurate and efficient decisions as opposed to conventional decisions made with raw data. With the capacity to leverage human emotions of judgment, intuition, and action, it presents infinite opportunities to revolutionize the way HR functions.

Khushbu Verma | Khushbu Verma is the Senior Manager for Research Services at Bython Media, where she conceptualizes and develops research backed reports that help users build their technology stack. She has over 10 years of experience in creating data-driven research-based proprietary content like survey analysis reports, buyer guides, whitepapers, strategic account profiling, market insight reports, and competitor analysis. She has done her Master’s ...

Khushbu Verma | Khushbu Verma is the Senior Manager for Research Services at Bython Media, where she conceptualizes and develops research backed reports that help ...

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