Functional Thinking

We call our problem solving process, functional thinking. When we apply functional thinking to problem solving in the digital age, we find that a few fundamental models give us the tools to creatively solve quantitative problems. Think of functions as LEGOs, add columns using new rules, use outputs as new inputs, combine simple functions in new and creative ways.


Visualize the problem and set up parameter table with starting value x0 and incremental Δx values (or in this case t0 and Δt) of their inputs (independent variables), as well as the values of any “constants” that could be changed.


Organize your data into functions with an input, an output, and a rule connecting them.


Build and complete the model by adding additional functions and functions of functions.


Test and iterate your model to improve it and solve the problem. Add graphs, conditional formatting, or other data representations to design the output to communicate the results.


Now ask “What if…” I change this assumption, change the model, or input different data? Think out-of-the-box. Apply what you built to new situations and new problems.


Our slideshow

Our White Paper