Execs Still Make Big Decisions With Their Gut: Study

Though the world is increasingly data-driven, most top executives, rightly or wrongly, still rely on instinct when making important decisions.
Iris DorbianSeptember 17, 2014
Execs Still Make Big Decisions With Their Gut: Study

Just because there is more data doesn’t mean that executives are more data-driven.

According to a new study, most still rely on a mixture of gut instinct and intuition rather than data when making important business decisions.

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However, at the same time, 64% of the executives polled in the survey, which was conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit and PricewaterhouseCoopers, admitted that data has affected the way their firms make decisions.

They also expect data “to have more of an effect on decision-making in the future,” writes CGMA Magazine in a story about the findings.

The real challenge is how to combine intuition and data when making strategic decisions, which happen frequently. Seventy-nine percent of the 1,135 executives revealed that they make a “big” decision every quarter. The study found that “one in three puts the value of the decisions at $1 billion or more.”

Although some companies are leveraging data to help them make decisions, only 32% of the study’s participants said their process is “highly” data-driven. That group, interestingly, “was three times more likely to report solid improvement in decision-making in the past two years, compared with those who were not highly data-driven,” according to CGMA Magazine.

The report also offered tips to help organizations when making their next big decision. The most sage advice: relying on your gut often skews business decision-making to your point of view, while data offers more objectivity.

Source: Big business decisions more often driven by gut and advice than by data

Image: Thinkstock

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