Few executives have time to decide

Today’s business world is a harried place where executives are forced to make more critical decisions than ever before, armed...

Today’s business world is a harried place where executives are forced to make more critical decisions than ever before, armed with only a fraction of the information they need, according to two separate reports made public this month.

In fact, despite the internet, real-time data and instant communications, 75% of those polled for one of the studies admitted they often make decisions based on nothing more than "gut feel".

The studies, one commissioned by Teradata, the datawarehouse arm of NCR, and the other by business intelligence software maker Business Objects, conclude that C-level managers lack the basic information they need to make sound decisions.

However, they are not lacking in raw data. Some 59% of those polled by Teradata say the amount is doubling or tripling every 12 months.

The problem is also widespread. 79% executives surveyed by Business Objects said they could point to bad decisions made where poor information was the primary culprit.

Both Teradata and Business Objects have positioned the use of business intelligence and datawarehousing technology as antidotes to the decision-making problem.

"Many of these [respondents’] ops systems function well, but still operate fairly independently," said Rick Makos, president of Teradata Canada. "And in many cases they were built years ago. Datawarehouses are being built to atone for those sins."

Makos said it is the fractured or inconsistent sources of data, spread out across the organisation with nothing tying them together, that are the true source of the problem.

Most decisions involve routine, day-to-day items with little strategic impact. The Business Objects survey bears that out - respondents said they spend just under half of their time on them, with only 15% of their time devoted to crucial matters.

Michael MacMillan writes for ITWorldCanada.com

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