DECISION MAKING – HOW MUCH DATA DO WE NEED?
Should decision making be dependent on data is billion-dollar question, the answer is in the affirmative even by ones who are not doing it. That establishes for sure the utility of it. Behind the information iron curtains of the IT behemoths it is presumed that they indulge in only data enabled decision making. How much data is put on platter, how it is processed and what goes in the favor of any decision, is a matter of detail, but the overall trend that too comprehensively, goes in the favor of it. The challenge is the public domain?
How of public domain decision making, that is the general governance of the nation, which in all democratic countries works for the welfare of the people and the progress of the nation, is data enabled? We all remember of the Iraq War. It was waged to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Where was the data? The world’s stands testimony to what was proved or not proved at the end of this war and even to this day. This is one great example in democratic decision making in this modern world. If this is treated as a benchmark then what would the state of affairs be in the non-democratic world.
Today’s discussion does not pertain to the non-democratic world. It is more to do with the public governance of India, with the problem statement that its objectivity is being compromised because of lack of proper exploitation of most relevant data for this purpose. Before getting into the nitty gritty, the general disclaimer is that governments after governments take public decisions, then scout for data to support and then put it up for the outside world, ready to be consumed. Thus, the mix of data and democratic decision making, camouflage each other, in the interest of the rulers, is the most common and most successful decision-making recipe of the modern world today.
Ripping apart the governance non-data enabled decision making; the story starts with no one actually knowing how much of data is required. If only the issue /problem was discussed thread bare, documented in an understandable style, data inputs decided, only then the inputs from data stakeholders can be sourced. How much data would be able to provide the right view and then what quantum of data would be enough to substantiate the decision is another story. Integrity of data can make or mar the whole exercise. Who would be responsible to for the validation of data and what would be nature of processing and output thereof? This whole exercise need not necessarily happen to prove the anticipated decision, it might also end up in a contrary conclusion. Based on such a conclusion one should have an open mind to call it quits and the process should also enable it accordingly.
DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO ABORT PROJECTS IF RELEVANT / OBJECTIVE DATA AND SURVEY DOES NOT SUPPORT THE PROPOSITION.
Have a nice evening.