Why decision optimization is essential for a data-driven economy

Back when I was in school, one of the most difficult classes for my business degree was quantitative analysis. It wasn’t just hard, it was laborious to translate and solve business conditions and problems into algebraic equations by hand. In the beginning, it was merely optimizing output based on a few constraints. As the course progressed, the equations became longer and more complicated in order to solve more complex problems. It was a huge relief when we were finally allowed to use computers to calculate results.

Our world today is becoming more and more like that quantitative analysis course. With the march toward a data-driven economy, we are inundated with an unprecedented volume of data points and faced with far more variables and constraints than ever before. It is more difficult to make timely decisions that affect business outcome. Every decision has a ripple effect, with some more dramatic than others. And with an infinite possibility of trade-offs, how do you separate wheat from chaff to get the best results?

Take for instance, the process of comparing shops. When you are comparing shops as a consumer you take into account a number of different variables: prices, features, quality, location, and service level agreements such as a return policy. Now, let’s examine this from a procurement analyst’s perspective in which they would have to choose between hundreds of products from a multitude of suppliers, each with different discount tiers and various lead times.

If that sounds like too many variables to keep track of, it probably is. Luckily, decision optimization technology can make all the granular decisions for you—from what to buy, whom to buy from, and at what cost. This allows procurement analysts to minimizing procurement costs while maximizing service level agreements.

Thanks to decision optimization technology, we don’t have to solve these business problems with pen and paper as I had to in my school days. Instead, you can use advanced technology that operate on proven patterns and models based on years of best practice experience.

Want us to prove it? Register for our webcast, Simplify Complex Decisions with Optimization and Data Science,” at and hear some of our success stories. Join us on June 11 at 11:00 a.m. EDT / 5:00 p.m. CET, or June 12 at 9:00 a.m. CET / 4 JST. We will broadcast it twice with live Q&As.

Hope to see you there. Don’t forget to post questions. In the meantime, explore what IBM decision optimization can do for your business.