Business decisions are less and less made on the basis of gut instinct


Those responsible in the specialist departments of companies are becoming increasingly pragmatic in their decisions and are increasingly trusting the information analyzed via business intelligence systems (BI) instead of their intuition. According to a survey by Actinium Consulting, they feel much more confident than they did seven years ago, when they were more likely to follow their gut instincts. In 2006, 47 percent of the business managers surveyed still preferred intuitive decisions and 40 percent fact-based decisions. But this ratio has since reversed. Now, more than half prefer to rely on factual information, and only 39 percent prefer to let their gut feel do the talking. This goes hand in hand with an increase in decision-making confidence. Whereas in 2006 only one in five of the more than 200 managers surveyed said that decisions were almost always accompanied by a positive feeling, this group has now grown to one third. The number of managers who often feel a great deal of uncertainty when making decisions has also dropped significantly from 39 to 27 percent.

But there are other indications that the increasing spread of analysis systems is having a significant impact on decision-making quality. These include the reduced time required by business managers for decision-making processes. Seven years ago, 57 percent said they needed more time to make better decisions. Now, time is only a critical factor for 42 percent. The need for sufficiently comprehensive and up-to-date information as a basis for decisions has changed even more significantly, because this requirement is apparently being mapped via the increasing use of BI systems. “In recent years, the relevant topics from analysis tools to key figures to reports have established themselves very dynamically, which is why the question of the need for business intelligence in companies hardly arises anymore,” Actinium CEO Klaus Hüttl describes clear changes in companies. “Above all, there is also a growing trust in the analyzed data.”

However, according to his estimates, there is still by no means an ideal world in the specialist departments because, for example, the data quality is often insufficient or the query speed is too low. But also the extent of the evaluations does not correspond to Hüttls experiences frequently to the requirements. This is also confirmed by the study, in which two-thirds of the respondents would like to see less complexity in the information they have to draw on for decision-making.