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Improving your data improves your business

What makes a good leader? One who makes the big calls based on what we’d call gut instinct? Or one who needs to seek lots of input before they make their final decision?

According to business folklore, it is the former; the no-nonsense decision-maker who uses their experience and acumen to decide the best course of action, with no delays, no doubts, and no dramas, and a new survey seems to bear this out.

The study, carried out by Splunk in collaboration with Censuswide, found that our fast-paced, digitally supercharged 21st Century business world is making speed of thought and speed of action ever-more important.

Its survey of Europe’s senior business decision-makers (BDMs) found that 53% of them now make a critical business decision at least once a day. Nearly all of these decisions – 90% - are taken in the same day, while just over two-thirds of them – 67% - are taken in a two-hour window.

On average, businesses are making seven critical business decisions every week.

This is a lot of decisions, and 47% of BDMs say that they use gut feeling to help them decide what to do, with input also coming from their colleagues’ opinions and customer feedback (52% and 51% respectively).

So far, so good, except that there is a huge problem. Studies show that while instinct and experience are valuable, the best decisions are made when decision-makers consult data, which helps to give them a more rounded picture.

Seemingly, there is little room for data and analysis in the decision-making process, which should not be the case when we live in an age of data, when our ability to collate and understand vital business information such as employee productivity, customer behaviour and market trends, is better than it has ever been.

We have data coming out of our ears, but while 92% of the decision-makers surveyed understood how all this information can be useful, only 1% said that their final decision was always data-led.

The reason? Forty per cent of respondents simply didn’t have time to look at it, with many professionals only analysing it once their all-important decision had been taken.

“The learning from the survey, therefore, is that it isn’t enough just to collect and generate data, but that it is vital to ensure that that the necessary customer, accounting and marketing information is available, properly integrated and appropriately presented.”

Correctly formatted and presented data is a key part of developing a Modern Workplace. For a strategic review of your IT systems and data contact our team at CMI to initiate a 20 minute assessment call.

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Graham Stead

Graham Stead is Client Relationship Director at CMI Limited, and has worked in the IT industry for over 30 years. Starting his IT career as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard, Graham later started his own business which he sold to CMI in 2016. As Client Relationship Director, Graham is responsible at CMI for ensuring our clients receive expert commercial IT advice that a modern business demands.