Good Thinking

New software helps you make better decisions

New software helps you make better decisions
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May 29, 2007 We’d all like to think that we can read the play better than the next person, that we can use our innate intelligence, intuition and gut feel to make well considered business and personal decisions, even though human intuition is seldom sufficient in complex decision-making situations. After several years of research at Mid Sweden University, the decision tool DecideIT has been developed for the purpose of enhancing the ability of decision-makers to reach rational decisions. The advantages include a more structured decision-making process and the capacity to analyze problems that previously were too complex for analysis.

“The decision tool DecideIT has been used for instructional purposes at Stockholm University and Gävle University College, besides Mid Sweden University, but also at universities in China and Brazil as well,” says Jim Idefeldt, adding that the spin-off company Preference AB ( will now be commercializing the tool. To improve the quality of decision-making, it is a good idea to use a structured decision-making process and a well-developed method for risk and decision analysis. This is best done with the aid of a so-called decision tool, a computer program that supports and facilitates decision-making. However, available information is often insufficient to enable the use of existing decision tools, such as how reasonable various scenarios are or what the possible consequences of various actions might be. The problem of dealing with information that is not in numerical form, for example, relegated earlier decision tools to a very minor role. To solve these problems, an entirely new formalism has been created to be able to address this particular deficiency. This type of formalism is what underlies the tool DecideIT. It is based on unique algorithms that make it possible to deal with and analyze complex decision-making situations, even in cases where precise information is not available. It is often sufficient to use probabilities, utility values, and weighting in the form of comparisons or intervals, but the tool also informs the user where more resources should be used to obtain a better basis for making a decision.

Brochure for DecideIT can be found here.

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