This article is cross-posted from our fusion community.

Dynamic Decision Making – What Is It?

The process of decision making by humans has been studied for decades – even longer if you include philosophy. What is clear is that the process of making decisions within the brain is complex.

In a school setting, there are hundreds of thousands of decisions that happen every single day.  From whether or not a child wants to slide down the slide or use the swings, to whether or not the school board is going to issue the referendum on the next election – decisions happen all the time.

Most people are Effective Decision Makers. What does this mean?

Being an effective decision maker means that one effectively uses evidence, their own experience or intuition, and the world (or people) around them to make decisions. As a school leader – decisions are rarely made by yourself (sometimes, they are) – but they are always informed by many other things.

In a school leader’s context, effective decision making is part of their job. Ideally, when making a decision, we find a good balance of weighing evidence (or data), experience and the input of other people.   

Consider the venn diagram below:

Fundamental elements of effective decision making - Evidence, Experience and Collaboration

Effective decision making falls in the center. It’s the ideal scenario.

But, for example, when a team (or a person) uses their experience and the others around them, without considering evidence – a decision is based on opinion. That may work – but is it as good as using evidence? Of course not.

Similarly, when one is effectively using the group and evidence – but fails to take the wisdom of experience into the decision making process – yes you have a team decision, but it’s possible that the risks may not have been fully considered.

You get the picture.

This is actually how most school districts operate. And – it’s just fine. They are effective decision makers. Are the decisions they make always good? Of course not. But, in our experience – effective decision making is not always timely decision making. Much of that comes down to the ability to collect and analyze evidence.

Dynamic Decision Making

At ion, we define “Dynamic Decision Making” as the ability for school administrators and teachers to use data to quickly and efficiently manage outcomes district-wide and down to the individual student level.

How does this happen? The key word here is “efficiently.” When decision making is efficient, it can become dynamic, agile, responsive. That’s an ideal situation, right?

What makes decision making dynamic? In our experience – it is the engine that informs your decision making. In other words – the evidence engine – or the data.

ion Analytics

The thing that holds up most decision making processes in a school is access to timely, reliable evidence. We hear it over and over again: Gathering evidence for decision making takes too much time. It’s the one factor holding us back from being truly dynamic.

And that’s where a system like ion comes in. ion is the engine that makes your decision making truly dynamic. With on-demand access to data from as many domains as you need – research and analysis can be done live – today. You don’t have to wait days or weeks for questions to be answered.

That’s the real power that a decision engine can make. 

Making the Transition

So, the natural question is – how do I make the transition to Dynamic Decision Making? The first step is to visit our website and schedule a consultation with our transition team. We’ll listen, ask some questions, and create a plan that will help you take your decision making to the next level!

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