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By relying on A/B testing to validate decision-making, a company can use more intuition rather than less.

Now, you may be asking: Isn’t A/B testing a logical process?

Yes, it is.

But, it actually helps reduce your reliance on logic.

Without a rigorous A/B testing system, companies need much more research, rationale, business cases, and cross-departmental stakeholder buy-in to make decisions.

Decisions become complex and people often use CYA methodology for backing themselves up. (CYA = Cover Your Ass, in case you’re new to organizational behaviour.)

All that rationale building takes time. Lots of time. It slows decision-making and turns nimble companies into bureaucratic dinosaurs. Read More

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    @Sean: This reminded me of this post (which you influenced): http://growthhackers.com/speed-vs-certainty-in-ab-testing/

  • BL

    Brian Lang

    over 3 years ago #

    I posted a similar comment on the OP (seems like it hasn’t gone live yet) around the benefits of this viewpoint – from what I’ve seen, there is typically a perceived disconnect between the “data folks”, (who are seen as using analysis, test results, etc) to drive decision making, and the “design folks”, (who are seen as using past experience, intuition, etc) to drive decision making.

    There doesn’t have to be this disconnect if you don’t approach it as a, “Which approach should we take?”, and instead approach it as, “How can both qualitative and quantitative data empower and re-enforce decision making?”

    Both can be used, in tandem, with great effect. As this article alludes, data validates intuition – it strengthens it by re-enforcing intuition when we get things right, and makes us question our (and others) intuition when we get things wrong. This ultimately leads to companies being smarter with what tests are proposed and run.

  • JM

    Jason Miguel

    over 3 years ago #

    I cosign this...

  • AF

    Angus Frame

    over 3 years ago #

    There seems be a constant tension between the "art" and the "science" around any business concept, I like the suggestion that a focus on A/B testing gives room for the "artists" to push forward while satisfying the need of the "scientists" to have data to validate a direction. Testing becomes the bridge between the left and the right side of the brain.

  • DM

    Depesh Mandalia

    over 3 years ago #

    The benefit of gut instinct and speed (not haste!) could over a period of time result in $$$'s of additional revenue and of course the inverse could result in a loss.

    Loss is harder to take especially in a culture that does not allow mistakes. Go read the Google X project - failure is almost seen as success. Edison famously stated that his thousand failures simply showed him a thousand ways not to create the lightbulb.

    I firmly believe that for many companies that want to take GH seriously you have to weigh in with some bad decisions or mistakes in order to find those gems which will see your product of service really take off.

    Think of the risk:reward ratio as a barometer - where does your company set it's sights?

    Don't let any AB tester or entrepreneur tell you they have a 100% success rate!

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