Dectech believes in a hybrid approach that marries a necessary focus on commercial results with a practical understanding of what drives human behaviour.
In practice, this means we are differentiated by three methodological pillars.
Whilst this term began to gain widespread traction in 2010, for example through the introduction of the UK government's 'nudge' unit, we've been working in this field since the late 1990s. We are behaviourists in that we maintain a healthy scepticism of people's ability to accurately report the causes of their actions. We therefore focus our research on those actions themselves, their antecedents, and so on. As such, we aim to understand the cognitive processes that underlie human decision-making.
Truly identifying the causes of behaviour requires randomised controlled trials. This method tests the implementation of different conditions to measure their effects (e.g. direct mail 'test and learn'). Field trials however are often expensive or inappropriate (e.g. for testing radical changes or if there are regulatory restrictions). Our solution to this is to re-create a given decision (e.g. by simulating a retail environment) and use this as a test bed for the experiment.
Dectech uses advanced statistical techniques to fit psychologically underpinned models to large behavioural or experimental datasets. Consequently, the firm's findings are more robust, diagnostic and actionable than traditional methods. These quantitative predictions can then be used to measure the financial impact of strategic options and thereby build the business case for a given strategy. Again, whilst the term 'big data' has recently gained currency, this has been part of our work for many years.