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Study shows gut and data drive big decisions

Study shows gut and data drive big decisions 

According to “Gut and gigabytes: A survey report” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, 73 percent of Canadian executives relied on their gut instinct when making their last big decision. This study was sponsored by PwC.

“A company’s success today is tied to how good it is at making big decisions, which includes changing the speed and sophistication of the decision making process,” said Ramy Sedra, Partner, Consulting and Deals, Data Analytics, PwC, in a press release. “Better decision making requires the use of newly accessible data and analytic techniques, and by integrating technology to manage the volume of information to enhance intuition and generate meaningful insights. By acknowledging the critical role big data plays in decision making, companies can confidently make future big decisions and solve business problems.”

Nearly 50 percent of Canadian executives and one in three executives globally say they depend on data as the basis for their big decision making.

In the past two years, these executives are three times as likely to report “significant” improvements in big decision making, versus those who are not data driven.

The study also reports that for 43 percent of Canadian respondents, the biggest hurdle is the completeness and accuracy of the underlying data and 70 percent of the executives were least satisfied with the timeliness of data.

Among CEOs, 90 percent of Canadian respondents don’t consider data they don’t understand. Forty seven percent of C-suite respondents feel the biggest hurdle to greater use of big data is if other senior executives lack sufficient expertise.

Collaborating with competitors will be the top priority to make a big decision next year, said 70 percent of Canadian executives. Next in line are business growth decisions (33 percent), and decision regarding new markets.

Corporate restructuring will be top of mind for 30 percent of Canadian respondents.

Even though these executives rely on gut instinct, data analysis has changed decision making, and 60 percent of Canadian executives said “data dependence” has changed how their company makes decisions.

For Canadian executives, the three most important aspects that need to change in their decision making process are the number of people involved, the time taken, and the use of externally sourced data.

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