Foresight Tops Hindsight: Data-Driven Decisions Beat Gut

Many decisions we make every day are not data-driven but are made by our gut instinct. That’s fine when those decisions are about what to wear, what to eat, where to go on vacation, and how much to spend on an item. But what about when your choices can impact the company’s bottom line, or even its ability to survive? Companies that report they are data-driven also report they perform better than those that rely on gut instinct.

Today’s fast-paced and competitive business world demands that we be all be data-driven and not rely on gut instinct. Yet, some companies continue to rely on gut instinct instead of data when it comes to making critical decisions.

I recently presented an International Institute of Analytics webinar, “Making the Best Decisions Possible with Enterprise Decision Management,” with independent industry consultant James Taylor and SAS business analytics expert Fiona McNeill.

We asked participants whether their business decisions are driven by data or by gut instinct.

Our findings were:

  • 1 out of 10 make decisions driven by gut instinct
  • 2 out of 10 make decisions driven by facts from data
  • 7 out of 10 make decisions driven by gut and data

Are you the one that still makes decisions with gut instinct?

As businesses become more targeted, personalized and public, it is critical to make precise, data-driven decisions for regulatory compliance and risk management. As data volume, velocity and variety continue to grow, it becomes harder to capture, integrate and analyze the data and to capitalize on the opportunities data uncover. Gut instinct is proving to be insufficient in today’s high-data volume, fast-moving, critical decision-making environment.

Increasingly, companies that are moving to become data-driven are adopting an in-database approach to data analysis. This method allows users to move the decision calculations to inside the database, where the data already resides. Using an in-database approach allows you to optimize the resources and power of the database. It also allows you to minimize data movement. By minimizing data movement, you’re able to dramatically streamline the decision process.

In-database processing of data analysis is not new. Many companies across a broad range of industries have already implemented this technique. For example, one retail bank was able to run a scoring code in 16 seconds, compared to 79 minutes in the traditional method. Other companies and organizations are also using in-database processing and realizing the benefits of strategic discovery. It was not surprising to me that six in 10 of the webinar attendees reported that they consider in-database processing as a way to get answers faster.

Are your gut-driven decisions not delivering the results they used to? Maybe it is time to give your gut instinct a rest and rely on data-driven facts to make sound decisions that affect your business outcomes.

Check out the replay of the webinar I did with James Taylor for the International Institute of Analytics and Fiona McNeill. This webinar will describe how you can use data to drive consistently right decisions and gain competitive advantage. If you want to improve performance, economics and governance within your organization, view the webcast.

– Tho Nguyen, Teradata

One thought on “Foresight Tops Hindsight: Data-Driven Decisions Beat Gut

  1. avatarJames Taylor

    Thanks for the opportunity
    The biggest driver I see for analytics at the moment is in terms of real-time or streaming analytics – embedding advanced analytic models into a real-time transaction processing stream. Decision Management is a great fit for this use case and the need for speed puts a real premium on in-database analytics too.



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