PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has published the results of a global survey of over 1,100 business executives by the Economist Intelligence Unit on the ways big data is changing decision-making processes. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that data and analytics are the most important factors they take into account before making decisions, placing them third behind their own intuition and experience (41 percent) and the experiences of others (31 percent).
Although executives continue to trust their instincts, 40 percent said that data is the element that has most changed the way they make decisions, with 83 percent saying their decision-making has improved over the past two years.
"Business leaders have long used their own tried and trusted intuition alongside more scientific and financial factors to make decisions and this has served them well in the past," said PwC consulting data analytics partner Yann Bonduelle. "As data become more pervasive, algorithms become more accurate and visualization more intuitive, business leaders are realizing they can make better decisions through using data and analytics more systematically."
Tom Lewis, PwC's head of data analytics, added that 81 percent of executives believe a familiarity with data-driven decision-making is a prerequisite for senior management roles.
"In the digital age, as business becomes ever more complex and data becomes ever more available, business leaders need to ensure they know how to quickly make decisions based on their analysis of data," he said.
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