Most people claim that they are bad at making decisions, especially in the workforce, but what does that actually mean? Is decision making a skill one can learn to master, or is it simply something one must be born with? Is ‘consistently making good decisions’ part of being a good leader, or is there in fact another way to make good decisions, most of the time? What is acknowledged is that good leaders use all available resources at their fingertips, which includes human intelligence, artificial intelligence (if possible), and technological components.
If there were a way to make optimal decisions faster, by tapping into the talent pool at your disposal who bring knowledge, and their own expertise built up over time in their own specialist domain; and then couple that with smart technology, which could sift through the ideas and opinions. That technology could then create some way to identify the best outcome or decision based on all this data, at the blink of an eye. Surely that would prove to be a powerful way to make decisions, right? Well now there is the beginnings of an industry built on exactly this premise!
This solution is a decision-making platform, and one company is creating quite a name for themselves in this new and emerging field. MENT is a decision-making app for Slack and also a self-contained platform that has spawned quite a following in a very short time.
- MENT is built for anyone in the company to help them make decisions. It really doesn’t matter what department you are in, from marketing, product management, UI to Executive Leadership, this product can change the way you and your team make decisions.
- The platform provides a way for everyone across the company to maintain a level of transparency and to stay in alignment with each other. This is done by everyone working through the decision making process together, although it is the question owner that actually makes the end decision.
- The platform combines the wisdom of your team or teams and then uses AI to moderate and structure the discussion, highlighting and focusing you on the best and most reliable answers, and pointing to the most heated debates.
- MENT uses a combination of bayesian scoring and machine learning, and intelligently rates the answers given and the people giving the answers based on previous answers, their department and their domain expertise.
- Where this product really comes into your daily processes is when it comes to time saving. Traditionally decisions are made in companies in a number of ways. These include meetings, Slacks and email threads. Meetings are time consuming, it’s not always possible to get the relevant parties in the room and often meetings end with no clear objectives or targets being set. When trying to make decisions over Slack or email, you can encounter long threads or ping pongs, sometimes you’ll miss emails or Slacks and it’s definitely not the most productive way to make decisions. MENT streamlines communication and cuts out the noise, thus saving time for everyone involved.
The purpose of this article is to look at MENT and then compare it with the other decision-making platforms available through Slack. If you visit the Slack app directory and type in the keyboard decision-making platform what pops up, if anything? Let’s discover that over the course of this article.
Comparison of Decision Making Platform MENT with Similar Services
If you visit Slack you will see that there are a number of companies claiming to fall under the category of decision-making platform. If that is the case then how do they stand up to or compare to the MENT offering?
In principle, the potential competitors can be divided into the following groups:
- Products that allow groups to discuss decisions in an unstructured way, akin to old chat rooms or forums. These unstructured discussions cannot be analysed by algorithms hence requires a lot of time to digest and many time amount to clutter and TL;DR. Usually, they are based on popular consensus and do not enable any meritocracy or expertise to be taken into account.
- Companies that focus on raw data and Business Intelligence in the form of graphs and charts, trying to find patterns in the data and offer actionable insights. These solutions miss on the most important assets of each company: its Human knowledge and expertise.
- Solutions that focus on project management, tickets and timeline. They allow to execute decisions, but do not serve in discussing the problems, collecting multiple views and analysing them using AI.
- Simple polling tools that does not analyse the reasoning behind each opinion, and therefore cannot develop a real understanding of expertise levels, or present the reasons in favour or against each alternative decision.
Let us look at three of these companies in some detail, which represent these three groups respectively. We start by looking at a product called Ranktab, which offers unstructured discussions.
Ranktab’s goal is to enable small businesses and tiny teams to make smarter decisions.
According to the Ranktab team “It’s absurd that the fundamental process of group decision-making hasn’t changed in the last 500 years: We want to put an end to this old, messy process…”
So how does it work?
In effect Ranktab’s Chatbot automates team decisions. After asking and receiving answers to a group of questions, the Chatbot displays the group consensus without the need for further input.
This product allows users to observe comparisons of multiple options to understand context, as well as the creation of group decision boards. Decisions are instant in Ranktab according to the company, and the company feels it is the best analytics app on Slack.
Who is it for?
According to the company this product is for small teams and crews.
The founders of this B2B Decision Making App for Slack identified a need for a platform that would enable people that work in data analysis to simplify workflows and make it possible to share data across entire organizations.
So how does it work?
The purpose of the product is to create a culture of data informed team members where everyone knows where and how to access data. The key decision makers may get access to the data they need in order to make informed decisions, without having to run to their analysis teams or business intelligence consultants.
The product allows users to create schedules to rerun a variety of reports with focus on automation. Reports can be dropped directly into your Slack channels. Users can also use webhooks to initiate alerts when any KPI’s or key metrics fall above or below certain predefined levels.
Furthermore Mode lets users drill down on any data point they wish, or zoom out to get a different perspective.
In terms of using the product for Slack, users can create the initial analysis using SQL, Python, or R, and then simply copy and paste it directly into Slack to see previews inside your team’s conversation.
Who is it for?
Large companies and teams including use Mode Business as a way to display and use their data to enhance their decisions.
The business intelligence software UnderstandBetter allows managers to keep and monitor employee metrics and engagement metrics either through a platform or directly on Slack. The purpose of which is to monitor employee indicators of problems before they blow up. It allows the manager to ask relevant questions to team members that they actually have an interest in answering. The managers will receive relevant recommendations about what to do next on an individual employee level.
So how does it work?
The Slack integration for UnderstandBetter enables a company’s team members to answer a range of survey questions directly from inside the Slack app. They can then interact with the UnderstandBetter bot via Direct Messages. Team members can select if they wish to get their survey questions either through Slack or sent through email. Those staff members that installed the app through Slack will now receive their survey questions right on their Slack app. Employees can answer anonymously if they wish to do so.
Who is it for?
It is targeted at managers of companies who care about their teams and want to enhance their team.
Conclusion: Why MENT ?
MENT is the AI decision-making platform that is transforming the way agile teams make decisions. The company was set up between San Francisco and Tel Aviv and have some really impressive investors backing it, which includes Slack itself and Mithril, Peter Thiel’s growth fund founded together with Ajay Royan.
MENT effectively drives credible business decisions, by collecting all the relevant team members voices and turns their insight and data into actionable decisions with the use of AI to moderate and structure the discussion and all leading answers. In effect MENT is a one stop solution for all decision making in the workplace. The goal of this product is to lay out all the information collected in a clear and concise way and allow the human to make the final decision.
MENT claims to help in the following areas:
- Where decision-making process is unclear, drawn out and inefficient
- Avoids time-consuming meetings, with no clear objectives
- Stops convoluted business communication across channels difficult to navigate
- Situations in which you are bogged down by too much data/not enough data
MENT provides the ultimate solution to balance between a well-constructed decision-making process and the speed to make those decisions.
- An end-to-end decision-making workflow
- Make trusted decisions by including all the relevant voices, data and insight
- AI proprietary moderated discussions effectively focus you on leading answers
- One channel of communication for all decision-making, across teams & stakeholders
So how does it work?
1. Open a new discussion
MENT allows anyone in the company to open a new discussion, by asking a question Examples: How do we “win” 2019?
2. Hold a moderated discussion
MENT collects the insights of all relevant voices, along with data and opinions to push the discussion forward.
3. MENT AI focuses you on the best decision
MENT AI identifies and scores the leading viewpoints, so you can make a winning decision.
MENT seamlessly integrates with Slack, so you can use it in your existing Slack channels in moments.
Who is it for?
This product is for literally anyone that works in a team or across multiple teams that needs to make decisions. It is suitable for managers, team members, executives and anyone that needs to align with the rest of the company, while saving time and still making excellent decisions.
Unlike some of the other products listed in this article MENT is a one-stop solution that doesn’t just work in one narrow area of the business, but holistically across business data, analytics, team collaboration and more. Happy decision making!