Experimental Innovation Lab (X-Lab)
The Experimental Innovation Lab (X Lab) is a project, based at MIT, that helps businesses make better evidence-based decisions through the rigor of randomized experiments.
Evidence-based decision making is hard. Not only do firms need to know how to properly measure their activities, but they need to understand what part of their performance is really caused the decision they need to make (not just correlated with it). The gold standard for building such knowledge is randomized experiments. From science to medical trials, this is the tool that is used to get the highest-quality information. Unfortunately all too often firms don’t realize the power of experiments, and so when they launch a new initiative or project they don’t take the few extra steps that would give them much higher quality data. But slowly this is changing, businesses such as Amazon, E-Bay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and many others, have already started harnessing this important tool.
The Experimental Innovation Lab (X-Lab) exists to promote experiments in innovation and strategy in businesses. We train MIT students in the theory and practice of running experiments. We use an action-learning approach, where after learning the theory student teams are paired with businesses to implement real experiments. Our goals are to:
(1) Give students the skills they need to run randomized experiments and to interpret their results; and
(2) Introduce businesses and other organizations to making data-driven decisions through randomized experiments
(3) Build a database of experimental best-practices for businesses