Growing data hampering decision-making of Australian leaders: report

Many feel overwhelmed, stripped of decision-making confidence

Growing data hampering decision-making of Australian leaders: report

Business leaders across Australia have admitted they are feeling overwhelmed by data.

These were the findings of a new study - The Decision Dilemma - which involved more than 14,000 participants across the world, including 1,000 Australians.

The study by Oracle found that 89% of Australian business leaders have stopped making decisions because of the sheer volume of and lack of trust on data.

Nearly all (99%) also believe that the growing number of data sources has limited the success of their organisations.

"Australia understands that data is instrumental to making accurate and reliable decisions. However, today, business leaders and employees are faced with an unprecedented volume of data, leaving many feeling overwhelmed and stripping them of confidence in decision-making," said Stephen Bovis, regional managing director at Oracle ANZ, in a statement.

According to the report, strategic decision-making has become slower (37%) and more opportunities for error were introduced (32%) from managing different data sources with their required additional resources.

The findings come as 95% Australian business leaders suffer from "decision distress," where they feel regret, guilt, or doubt about a decision they made in the past year.

Rethink needed

Current approach to data and analytics is not addressing the challenge of making data work for decisions, according to the business leaders.

For 89%, dashboards and charts do not always relate directly to decisions that they make, while 90% said most data available is only helpful for IT professionals or data scientists. In fact, 90% of Australian business leaders said they often make decisions and then look for data to justify them.

"The hesitancy, distrust, and lack of understanding of data shown by this study indicates that many people and organisations need to rethink their approach to data and decision making," Bovis said.

In an ideal setting, the respondents said they want data to help them:

  • Make better decisions (34%)
  • Reduce risk (35%)
  • Make faster decisions (34%)
  • Make more money (38%)
  • Plan for the unexpected (32%)

Having the right data and insights would then help them make better decisions on the following fields:

  • HR (99%)
  • Finance (99%)
  • Supply chain (9%)
  • Customer experience (98%)

This shows that Australian business leaders understand the impact of the right data for their organisations, according to the report, which was carried out by Oracle and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, New York Times bestselling author.

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