The “Aussie way”



Forty per cent of Australian executives rely on their own gut instinct or that of a trusted colleague (28 per cent) over data analytics when making strategic business decisions, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit has revealed.

The survey of 1,135 c-suite and board level executives revealed that, this is also common practice globally, with 58 per cent of executives adopting a similar approach to decision-making; 30 per cent relying on gut instinct and 28 per cent on the experience of others.

In contrast, just 29 per cent of executives globally, and only 22 per cent of those located in Australia, said they placed the biggest reliance on data and analytics in making their latest big decision.

The survey found that while highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to report significant improvement in making big decisions, only one in three executives say their organisation is highly data-driven.

Instead, more big decisions are made opportunistically than deliberately, the survey found, with many executives sceptical or frustrated by the practical application of data and analytics when making big decisions, particularly in emerging markets.

However, despite executives' comfort in relying on gut instinct, nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) said the use of data has changed how their company makes decisions and they expect it to have more impact in the future.

The top three changes executives plan in decision-making include the number of people involved in making a decision, greater use of specialised and enhanced analytics and data analysis, and the use of dedicated data teams to inform strategic decisions.

A full copy of the report can be found here.