US professor Puntoni on the art of data-driven decision-making

In an age increasingly shaped by data and artificial intelligence, the art of making well-informed decisions is becoming a key competence for companies, according to Stefano Puntoni, marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In a video interview from the ‘Talks at Google’ lecture series, Puntoni looks at the importance of data, the pitfalls of decision-making and the growing role being played by AI. On 12 and 13 September, he is appearing live in Zurich at the International Retail Summit.
14 May, 2024 by
US professor Puntoni on the art of data-driven decision-making
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Company decision-makers face a variety of challenges. Striving for clear, well-founded decisions is anything but straightforward given the huge amount of information available today. Wharton professor Stefano Puntoni stresses that the art of data-driven decision-making does not just lie in data analysis, but more importantly in the ability to ask the right questions and interpret the data correctly.

You might think more data inevitably improves decision-making. But Puntoni believes the huge amount of data often creates greater uncertainty. People would seek confirmation of decisions they had already made. This approach, which he calls preference-driven analytics, can distort results and hinder objective data evaluation.

Another key point is the risk of overly precise data. While precise data can often seem convincing, it is important to consider the variance around this data and recognize the complexity of reality. Focusing too heavily on precise data can lead to oversimplification of reality and mislead decision-makers.

Puntoni highlights the importance of collaboration between human expertise and artificial intelligence and calls for the development of systems that complement human intelligence instead of replacing it.


Stefano Puntoni is a speaker at the International Retail Summit, taking place at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute on 12 and 13 September 2024. In his presentation, he discusses an innovative framework combining behavioural science, computer science and management to outline a new division of labour between humans and AI.

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