Business decisions: the benefits of using experimental evidence

Business decisions: the benefits of using experimental evidence


A growing number of American companies are embracing experimentation in their decision-making processes. This evidence-based approach is the key to understanding the effectiveness of business decisions in terms of cause and effect.

In recent months, and especially since the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Richard Thaler, I have seen how this drive to use experimentation in decision-making is gaining momentum all over the world, including in Spain.

Companies, public institutions, NGOs and financial institutions have started to create internal behavioral economics units. Those of us who work in this field have been surprised to receive frequent calls from organizations interested in adopting an experimental approach in their day-to-day business activities.

This interest in evidence-based decisions is also flourishing in the field of education. New courses on “experimentation in companies” have been cropping up in all sorts of master’s degrees, which usually require a final project involving an experimental application.

It used to be that we researchers had to proactively seek out “let’s-do-an-experiment” collaborations. Therefore, we are pleased to be asked to run experiments with real application outcomes that benefit organizations’ production processes.

Now is a good time to reflect on both the potential and the difficulties of using the experimental method to make evidence-based decisions rather than relying on intuition or copying what has worked for others.



Founded in 1958, ESADE ranks among the top ten business schools in Europe in the most important International MBA, Executive Education and university programme rankings. ESADE has agreements and works with over 100 universities and business schools worldwide. The school offers doctoral programmes in management studies and conducts cutting-edge research in the fields of Data Science & Market Decisions, Economics & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Globalisation & Geopolitics, Governance, Innovation & Operations, Strategy, Leadership & People Management and Social Innovation.


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