When to Group Decisions Together and When to Separate Them into Multiple Steps

Learn when you should use and/or functionality to group multiple decisions together, and when you should separate and analyze individual criteria before moving through an automation.
Kirk Du Plessis
Sep 27, 2021
10 min video
When to Group Decisions Together and When to Separate Them into Multiple Steps

Do you use more than one criteria for your trade setups? There are dozens of indicators, and each tells a different story about a security.

Maybe you want to reference multiple moving averages or momentum indicators to corroborate your bias. Other times, you may want only to evaluate one specific attribute and make a decision based on the outcome.

This video provides a decision framework for grouping or separating decisions in your bot automations. 

One platform benefit is the ability to automatically evaluate multiple market conditions before entering a trade.

The automation editor allows you to group decisions together when building an automation.

But, how do you know when to group decisions and when it may be better to separate decisions into multiple steps? 

This bot example references two momentum indicators, RSI and CCI, to determine if a security is overbought or oversold. When using multiple market criteria within the same decision recipe, you have the option to create separate recipes or group decisions together into an and/or statement.

Decision recipe with "And" function to group multiple decisions

If you’re determining whether a security is overbought or oversold, the “And” function is a great example of when you may want to group decisions, because both statements must be true when the automation runs to proceed down the “Yes” path.

You can also use the “Or” function to delineate between two opposing scenarios, such as a high and low price for a breakout (price is above a specific value OR below a specific value, for example).

If the criteria is not met, you can also group the opposite market condition together in the “No” path.

For example, if a security does not meet both oversold thresholds, the next decision in the automation could reference the same indicators to determine if the security is overbought. Again, both statements must be true.

Automation editor with decision recipes grouped together

Grouping decisions together in this way enables the bot to evaluate multiple indicators simultaneously. The functionality splits the decision-making process into two steps and forces the bot to evaluate market conditions in the order you define.

In this example, the bot will first check if the ticker is oversold before it checks if it is overbought. 

You don’t have to group decisions together. In some cases, it may be beneficial to separate decisions into multiple recipes if you want to add branches based on individual outcomes or evaluate criteria in a sequence.

If you want the bot to make each individual decision one-by-one and perform certain actions based on yes or no answers, you could split them into different steps using single recipes.

This may be advantageous when looking at one-time calendar events like options expiration or earnings, for example.

Remember, you can always test an automation to see its response to current market conditions before turning on the bot. The building process is a great way to think critically about your strategy and order of operations before turning on the bot.

Test button in automation editor

If you get confused about when to group decision actions together, this video serves as a guide for best practices when using multiple recipes.

Grouping decisions is efficient when you want to ensure multiple criteria are true and you want them referenced in a single action. Combining recipes can be especially useful if many decisions are grouped together because it forces the bot to verify multiple market conditions before proceeding through the automation.

Splitting decisions into individual decision actions allows you to identify exactly where an automation encountered a "No" answer so that you can make changes in the automation editor if necessary.

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