Brand Owners Rely on Hard Data, Not Instinct

Brand owners are increasingly relying on hard data rather than instinct or experience to make strategic decisions, a poll of executives has shown. Of the 600 senior managers surveyed by Capgemini, a consultancy, for the report, two-thirds said they believed they worked for a ‘data-driven’ company. A similar total (65%) said the proportion of corporate decisions taken on the basis of ‘hard analytic information’ was rising.

By contrast, a clear majority (54%) said that decisions taken due to a manager’s personal intuition or prior experience were ‘suspect’. The strong support for data also came despite almost half (42%) of respondents agreeing that data analysis made decision-making slower, and 67% expressing concern about the accuracy of the data they used as a basis for their decisions. Just over half (51%) also complained about the lack of qualified data analysts available to corporations.

According to an earlier report by Gartner,

Business executives and IT managers are increasingly referring to information as one of their organization’s most critical and strategic corporate assets. Certainly there is a sharp rise in enterprises leveraging information as a performance fuel, competitive weaponry and a relationship adhesive.’

Paul Nannetti, global sales and portfolio director at Capgemini, said:

The exploitation of Big Data fuels a step change in the quality of business decision-making. Genuinely data-driven companies are able to monitor customer behaviors and market conditions with greater certainty, and react with speed and effectiveness to differentiate from competition.

The popularity of data-driven decision-making varied from category to category, according to the Capgemini poll. Executives of energy and natural resources firms were most likely to agree that more and more of their decisions were being made on the basis of data, on 76%. Pharma (75%) and financial services firms (73%) came in second and third places on this measure.

An important challenge for companies wanting to make the most of Big Data is the barrier of organizational silos (56 per cent). The shift from departmental to business process silos is preventing the sharing and integration of data and a holistic overview of data management. Perhaps however the most challenging issue is the shortage of talent claimed by half (51 per cent) of respondents. The gap between the demand and supply of qualified data analysts was perceived highest for retail and consumer goods companies. Two-thirds of respondents from these sectors cite access to talent as the toughest obstacle to data-driven decision making.

The full report is available for downloading here.
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