NEWS3 February 2016

Big data and bureaucracy lead to bad decisions, say senior leaders

Data analytics News North America

US — 72% of organisations admit to at least one strategic initiative failing in the last three years as a result of flaws in their decision-making process, according to new research. 

Choice crop

The report, Joining the Dots: Decision making for a new era, from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), revealed that information overload, excessive bureaucracy, a lack of trust, and incentives that aren't aligned with goals were all cited as contributors to poor decision-making. 

Findings were based on a survey of board-level executives at large organisations from 16 countries. As well as poor decision-making, results also showed that 80% of executives admitted that flawed information had been used to make strategic decisions, and 42% said that their organisation had lost a competitive advantage because they were too slow to make decisions. 

“Bad decisions make for bad business, so these findings are a cause for great concern," said Charles Tilley, FCMA, CGMA and chief executive of CIMA, said. "Organisations need to treat decision-making as a business-critical process to be professionalised then continually improved. Above all, leaders need to think in an integrated way. This means having a clear and defined business model and relating all decisions back to it; quickly gathering and analysing all relevant information from all parts of the business; and focusing on key performance indicators rather than gut instinct or hearsay.”