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Business leaders prefer gut feeling to data

September 13, 2014
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‘Guts and Gigabytes’, a new report by PwC found out that majority of business leaders are still taking strategic decisions for the future based on their experience and gut feeling rather than basing them on data and analytics. Own experience and intuition came first with nearly 41%, with experience of others ranked 2nd at 31% and data and analytics came third with only 23%.

The report, exploring the changing nature of decision making was written by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

PwC consulting data analytics partner, Yann Bonduelle, explains: “Business leaders have long used their own tried and trusted intuition alongside more scientific and financial factors to make decisions and this has served them well in the past. As data become more pervasive, algorithms become more accurate and visualisation more intuitive, business leaders are realising they can make better decisions through using data and analytics more systematically.”

83 percent of senior executives in UK, state that their big decision-making has improved in the last two years. With 2 out of 5 business attributing the change to the use of internal and external data and analytics. Despite this change, there are many business leaders in UK (41%) who remain concerned about the accuracy, quality and completeness of data with just as many leaders stating that they find it difficult to access useful data.

Tom Lewis, PwC head of data analytics, comments: “The role of data and analytics in our corporate enterprises continues to grow in importance, with 81 percent of executives recognising a familiarity with data-driven decision making as a prerequisite for senior management roles. It is clear that data quality and data overload have been historical issues for some companies but this will reduce as the level of data awareness grows in the senior levels of an organisation. In the digital age, as business becomes ever more complex and data becomes ever more available, business leaders need to ensure they know how to quickly make decisions based on their analysis of data.”

Costs and margin pressures of Big decisions are so much that 52% of business leaders are expecting collaboration with their competitors in the next year and that is 16% greater than the global average of 36%.


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