November 21, 2019 Last updated November 20th, 2019 1,423 Reads share

How to Balance the Tricky Scale of Big Data and Intuition in the Decision Making?

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Now that data is majorly at the forefront of many organizations’ decision making processes, can humans take a backseat then? No way! Though big data development services are changing the company’s approach, it can replace what goes into the minds of human beings.

One of the crucial processes in any organization is decision making. With the advent of data, many employees have seen their jobs become simpler and efficient. From playing a major role in marketing to managing human resources, big data has been a huge part of organizations. With each passing day, more benefits of big data are being discovered which increases its value in this business world.

While one cannot imagine running an organization without the help of data nowadays, it doesn’t mean that data can easily replace the good-old intuition. There is a very fine balance between the data analytics and human intuition, which when identified, could become the biggest advantage of the organization.

Why Intuition Is Important in the Current Business World?

If you take a close look at how the solutions of big data analytics are being employed, you would probably notice the underhand of intuition in most situations. For example, some of the major offline shopping stores started using big data a few years back to see how better the competitors function and if they can use any of the competitors’ strategies for their own.

If we are just blinded by the number-crunching action of the big data, we would rarely make a revolutionary change. From identifying the need for data for customer profiles to understanding how the customers think with the data, intuition has always backed data to complete the decision making. Intuition is highly essential for the people who sit in higher management as they are the ones who have a significant hold on the decisions.

Preceding with Intuition with Major Business Decisions

In a study conducted by Professor John Mihalasky from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he tested the intuition levels of a group of CEOs. He discovered that 81% of CEOs with high intuition scores doubled their businesses in five years and only 25% of CEOs with low intuitive scores were able to do the same.

It is pretty evident that data is increasing in its importance, the power of intuition still hasn’t reduced in its value. Scientifically seeing, intuition is all about patterns. Human beings observe patterns and events subconsciously from which we draw conclusions without consciously having any proper explanations. But, as a habit, the subconscious mind of the human stores the interactions, events, and behavior in our memory from which it retrieves, processes and gives a thought that we generally call as a ‘gut feeling’.

If processed right, intuition can be a major supporting factor in the running of the organizations. In 2016, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix made a clear statement at the DLD’s flagship European conference in Munich that though they run Netflix with data, the final decisions reside with their intuitions. “We start with the data. But the final call is always gut. It’s informed intuition,” he said. He also credited smart intuition though the company is one of the first few ones that invested heavily in big data analytics.

Smart Intuition or Data Analysis?

The intuition was the base for the data scientists to work towards intelligent solutions. However, gut feeling works only when it leads to smart solutions. There are some whose gut feelings always lead to wrong outcomes. While some are intelligent enough to get good results from their intuitive senses.

A business cannot only run on the intuition of its people. It needs the help of proven data to back their claims and ensure that the intuition doesn’t go wrong. Similarly, just blindly trusting the data without applying one’s mind is again not a wise move. Business intuition and big data analysis should go hand in hand for proper decision making.

Let’s take an example. For the recruitment of new employees, you can use the data to find information about the candidates. You can also test the skills and find out if their experience alongside talent matches the company’s requirements or not. But on the other hand, the process isn’t complete without interviewing the person where gut feeling plays a major role. Sometimes, even when the data looks solid and the person looks like an ideal match for the role, speaking to the person on the interview would turn out to be the complete opposite and during such times, one has to rely on intuition.

Smart intuition or big data analysis separately on their own cannot bring in a major impact. But with both of them together, your organization is on the path to success. In a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Think with Google with 3,200 executives from over 107 countries and 20 industries, 35% of the organizations are found to be intuitive and equally data-driven in their decision-making process.

Read: Hottest Trends That Would Shape Future Of Big Data Analytics

If more such organizations can adopt a balanced approach to their decision making with equal importance to intuition and data, it leads to industry-transforming solutions.

Striking the Right Balance Between Data and Gut Feeling

It is vital to ensure that intuition and data analysis aren’t pitted against each other. There should never arise in a situation where only one of them can win. Instead, companies much equally rely on both from their day to day decisions to major business problems.

Sometimes, you may have a strong gut feeling about certain strategy implementation and don’t’ know how to prove your intuition. During such situations, you can leverage the data analysis to establish your intuitive theory and put them to practice.

On the other side, some may have an opposite gut feeling about the results of the data analysis. Also, big data results may not complement your inner gut feeling. This is the time when one needs to calm down and take a step back. Also, needs to ensure that it doesn’t end in a confrontation.

To balance both, one needs to know which data is necessary or unnecessary to draw the line with your intuition. Not every single decision in the organization has to be complicated with data analysis. The organization needs to have an experienced data team that provides logical solutions to problems instead of involving the data too much even in the times when smart thinking is required.

At times when intuition takes the central stage, one should be aware of the questions to ask for checking your intuition. Make sure that you are not overpowering your decision with either too much gut feeling or just pure data-driven solutions. Build a holistic process where it factors in the intuition but keeps it in check and use the big data analytics services but doesn’t entirely depend on it. Fool-proofing your intuition with numbers and verifying data analysis with gut feeling is the best combination of long term success.

James Warner

James Warner

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