Let’s Write a Decision Intelligence Book… Maybe?

Exploring the Irony of a Decision Scientist’s Dilemma

Cassie Kozyrkov


For the past year, I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing a book.

Except that I — despite my decision science background — can’t seem to decide whether to write the damned thing and, if I do, whether the book should be about decision-making or data science or both. Or if there should even be a book. Trust me, the irony is not lost on me.

So, to celebrate that irony, let me take you on a tour of my thought process as I decide.

Image created by the author.

There are plenty of great books out there, but they’re all not-quite-what I hoped they’d be when I opened them. Now, it’s entirely possible that I’m an alien with a niche idea about what’s worth knowing, but on the off-chance that enough of you feel the same way, I thought I’d put our heads together and see what we come up with.

But first, let me tell you how I’m thinking about my decision. That’s right, let’s decide together about a decision book. Things get fun when we go meta. (But not too Meta.)

I’ll throw in a few little decision-making nuggets along the way, while avoiding pictures and summary quotes to make the book-like experience more authentic for you.

Questions to answer

  1. What’s worth saying about data and/or decision-making?
  2. Who needs to hear it (and why)?
  3. Does it need to be said in a book?
  4. Am I the right author?
  5. Should I write it?
  6. When should I write it?

What’s missing from all those other books?

To figure out if there’s anything worth saying, let’s examine what has already been said. Folks keep asking me to share some book recommendations, so I’ll cunningly use this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. In the following link are some categories of book related to stuff I might be tempted to trumpet about, what I love about them, what’s missing, and exemplars:



Cassie Kozyrkov

Chief Decision Scientist, Google. ❤️ Stats, ML/AI, data, puns, art, theatre, decision science. All views are my own. twitter.com/quaesita