Despite overwhelming data backup and support, an astounding number of business leaders—85% of them—say they have suffered from decision distress—regretting, feeling guilty about, or questioning a decision they made in the past year.
The challenge of decision-making is so daunting that a staggering 64% of individuals - and an even higher 70% of business leaders - wish for a simpler solution: to have robots make their decisions for them.
The 2023 Decision Dilemma global study by Oracle, which partnered with bestselling author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz to survey more than 14,000 employees and business leaders across 17 countries, provided some chinks in data management.
A significant 83% of respondents agree that access to more data should make decisions easier, but 86% said that even with more data, they feel less confident making decisions.
A whopping 91% of business leaders say the growing volume of data has limited the success of their organisation, and 72% admit it has stopped them from making any decisions at all.
According to the survey, 74% of business leaders said they’d held off on making a decision because they didn’t know what data to trust.
Another 77 % of business leaders say that the dashboards and charts they get do not always relate directly to the decisions they need to make.
"People are drowning in data," said Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, data scientist and author of Everybody Lies and Don't Trust Your Gut. "This study highlights how the overwhelming amount of inputs a person gets in their average day.
Nearly half of the people attach importance to shared understanding. According to them, decision-makers need to work from a common set of definitions. 41% of respondents say that a lack of agreement on data is one of the top three challenges they face when making work-related decisions.
The survey says 79% of business leaders agree that technology that knows their job role, the flow of daily tasks, and the industry they work in would be most useful to them when making decisions.
A growing number of respondents, who make up 77% of business leaders, say that the dashboards and charts they get do not always relate directly to the decisions they need to make.
Another thrust area for business leaders is intelligence. A significant 72% of business leaders feel that the majority of the data available is only truly helpful for data experts who can interpret and leverage the insights in meaningful ways.
As businesses expand to serve new customers in new ways, the number of data inputs they need to get the full picture expands too. Business leaders that make critical decisions about how to manage their companies ignore that data at their own risk," said T.K. Anand, executive vice president, Oracle Analytics
According to the survey, 74% of business leaders say that their organisation judges decisions purely based on the outcome, but most analytic systems only deliver insights.
The study also highlights business leaders' desire for automation. A whopping 85% of business leaders agree that knowing the results of similar decisions would have a huge impact on decision-making.