In our previous post, we covered how executives are commonly faced with making key decisions without the optimal amount of information available. Part 2 of this series will explore how having the right information is just as crucial in the act of making an educated decision.
2. Recognize that having more information is better than less – only if it’s the right information.
While knowing more about a topic can be a clear advantage, executives must also contend with information overload – referred to as ‘infobesity’ by Bain, a global consulting firm. Executives need to source relevant “small data” insights within big data – the crucial points that are so often easily overlooked. As stated by Bain:
“The test for big data is whether its output is relevant to key decisions. And it should complement rather than replace other sorts of information. LEGO engineers decide which products to develop based partly on input from hobbyist groups and other customer communities. Apple Store employees spend part of their time learning and discussing customer feedback from the previous day or week so they can make better decisions about customer service. “Small data” of this sort—direct and often qualitative—is particularly helpful for the everyday decisions made by frontline employees, which often add up to considerable value over time.”
Big data can be overwhelming. Too often, frontline employees are juggling too much data from too many sources, with too little time to compile a valuable deliverable. It can be challenging to connect crucial data points – however small – to insights and pain points that represent business opportunities.
Executives, like everyone else, are creatures of habit and benefit from consistency. Sourcing direct, qualitative insights from high volumes of external data in a predictable format is critical not only for shortening the amount of time required to make decisions, it also prepares the executive for making future decisions.
In the final installment of 3 Steps to Effectively Manage Time Pressure In Executive Decision Making, we’ll cover how successful executives are creating an environment of effective decision-making through frequent delivery of relevant, contextual insights and information.