Should retailers trust their gut or their data?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from MarketingCharts, a Watershed Publishing publication providing up-to-to-minute data and research to marketers.
Recent studies indicate U.S. marketers often rely on their gut for marketing budget decisions. But this may not be a universal view: a new survey sponsored by Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds that global business leaders are much more likely to describe their approach to making significant management decisions as being "data-driven" (42 percent) than "intuitive" (10 percent). Even so, the study results also suggest a low amount of confidence in data analysis when it comes into conflict with intuition.
Asked what they would do if the available data contradicted their gut feeling when making a decision, a majority 57 percent of respondents said they would re-analyze the data, while another 30 percent would collect more data. Only 10 percent would take the course of action suggested by the data.
That suggests that business leaders continue to rely on intuition, if only in a supporting role. In fact, roughly three in four respondents said they trust their own intuition when it comes to decision-making and two-thirds "would be trusted to make a decision that was not supported by data."
Data-driven decision-making can also fall victim to internal politics, per the study. Indeed, 53 percent of respondents from companies with more than $5 billion in revenues agreed with the statement: "Company politics trump evidence in decision-making." Overall, a plurality of 43 percent of respondents agreed with the statement.
Few respondents to the survey believe that more data would help their organization improve decision-making. Rather, a slight majority feel that a better ability to analyze data would serve their decision-making efforts, with many also pointing to more accountability for decision-making.
The EIU conducted a survey of 174 business executives from a range of industries in February 2014. Of these, 35 percent are from Europe, 27 percent from North America and 26 percent from Asia- Pacific.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making Popular, But Informed by Intuition – MarketingCharts
- Decisive Action – Economist Intelligence Unit
- 1 in 2 US Marketers "Trust Their Gut" for Marketing Budget Decisions- MarketingCharts
- Debrief: Reaching and Influencing B2B Buyers and Decision-Makers – MarketingCharts
What role, if any, should intuition play in organizations that self-identify as data-driven? Why do you think some companies are particularly reticent when it comes to making decisions based on data and data alone?