AU Business Leaders Facing ‘Decision Dilemma’ Due to Big Data

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Research conducted by enterprise software company Oracle in partnership with a New York Times bestselling author discovered that people have difficulty making decisions when presented with too much data.

Author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz conducted the research titled Decision Dilemma in partnership with Oracle. The study had 14,000 participants from 17 countries, where 1,000 respondents were Australians. Participants were employees and business leaders. The research explores how decision-makers make critical decisions with data available to them.

The result of the research was different from what we would expect. In today’s world, many tools exist to extract data and make it available to anyone. Usually, devices visually present data, with the idea that it would be easier for people to digest data if presented visually

Looking at the Australian respondents’ results, the research found that 82% were so overwhelmed that they gave up on decision-making. The author noted that “People are drowning in data. This study highlights how the overwhelming amount of inputs a person gets in their average day, internet searches, news alerts, unsolicited comments from friends, frequently add up to more information than the brain is configured to handle.”

93% of the respondents also believed that the significant volume of data makes decision-making more complex, and this sentiment applies to their professional and personal lives. As a result, Australians try to avoid making decisions altogether.

According to Oracle regional marketing director Stephen Bovis, “Australia understands that data is instrumental to making accurate and reliable decisions. However, today, business leaders and employees face unprecedented data, leaving many overwhelmed and stripping them of confidence in decision-making.”

Furthermore, 89% of Australian business leaders say that they need more trust in the data along with the sheer volume. This can be expected as Australians have become more vigilant due to the country’s recent security breaches, such as the Optus cyberattack. As attacks become increasingly advanced, people start questioning whether what is presented to them is authentic. 

That is why Bovis advises people to rethink their approach to understanding the data and decision-making. He recommends that people should only use data that is relevant to them and not allow themselves to be drowned in a sea of data.

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