Data-Driven Decision Making vs. Trusting Your Instincts: When to Use Each

Data-driven decision making is becoming increasingly popular, as businesses strive to gain insight into their future in order to plan their operations effectively. This approach can prove particularly useful when developing strategies, such as content and market entry, and is based on the concept of setting goals and working towards them by measuring progress.

In reality, every business leader should also take into account another valuable asset: intuition. Your instinct can always tell you whether a plan is viable or not, regardless of the amount of data available or the length of experience in the industry.

Hence, equilibrium is of the utmost importance. To achieve this, it is essential to carefully consider what measurements are put in place. An incorrect selection of measurements could lead to undesirable results caused by perverse incentives. It is common for businesses to unintentionally incentivize undesirable behavior, as was the case with the Wells Fargo cross-selling incident.

No matter what external factors, such as statistics and intuition, may influence your decisions, goals and metrics will ultimately direct the trajectory of your organization. If you need to make a decision based on a comparison of the two, here are some guidelines to consider.

Be Specific When Explaining Why

It is possible to analyse the situation by using a well-organised spreadsheet. However, it is not always the most effective way to determine the root causes of a phenomenon.

Upon implementation of a UX framework, a significant reduction in monthly website visitors can be observed. To investigate this further, the server logs should be checked to determine if any unusual activity is present.

By viewing your product or service from a customer’s perspective, you can determine the reason for any decreased traffic. It could be that a feature that was previously easily accessible has been removed, or a competitor has released an improved product. Once this has been identified, you can make the necessary changes and proceed.

Use Numbers to Figure Out How

At Works, the most crucial aspect of product development is always the approach taken. Agile approaches are particularly beneficial in this regard, as they enable the process to be split into smaller, more manageable components depending on the significance of each stage. It is evident that a strong team is essential for attaining the best results.

Developing a product can be accelerated and enhanced by taking a quantitative approach to dealing with issues. Furthermore, it may help you stay ahead of the competition.

The Best Decisions Are Holistic Ones

For centuries, the principles of nature have taught us that theory and practice must both be taken into account when making decisions. It is therefore important to consider both qualitative and quantitative data when developing plans. The relevance of each will depend on the specific situation.

Qualitative data is likely to be the most influential when presenting initial ideas to a client as a web designer. However, when it comes to actually implementing these ideas, quantitative data will likely take precedence. A/B testing can be used to provide further insight, and the main goal should be to identify the factors that lead to the most successful results.

Try some Numbers if You Want to Make some Predictions

The desire to predict the future is something that is widely shared. Whilst intuition can play an important role, quantitative data must always form the basis of any forecasting. Our insights are based on the experience we have gained throughout our careers; however, I will leave the philosophical musings for another time.

The prediction market is being driven by two cutting-edge technologies: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). I would highly recommend that you take the time to read our tutorial on how to leverage both of these technologies to your organization’s advantage. One of your goals should be to anticipate potential issues and opportunities.

Quantify Your Way Through Testing

Working with hypotheses is an important capability to possess, regardless of your industry. The popularization of the phrase “What gets measured, gets improved” is no accident. Furthermore, formulating a hypothesis (e.g. “I believe that publishing twice as often on our LinkedIn page would result in a 40% increase in engagement”) helps to set out essential Key Performance Indicators and create a plan.

Make decisions based on instinct while making art.

It is clear that AI has progressed significantly in recent years, however, it has yet to match the capabilities of the human brain when it comes to creativity. Intuition, which is the culmination of a lifetime of experiences, is an invaluable asset when attempting to make innovative discoveries. Consequently, we should take this opportunity to discuss the importance of intuition.

Regardless of the source of your inspiration, following your instincts when creating something you feel passionate about is always the best way forward. The same is true when it comes to discussing groundbreaking works that propel humanity forwards.

Consider your own personal biases while deciding

We all have our own moral codes which manifest themselves in the way we comport ourselves in the workplace and progress in our respective industries. In this light, it is clear that making decisions solely based on profit or other measurable performance indicators is not always the most prudent course of action, as we have seen with the case of Wells Fargo.

It is important to consider values in addition to statistics when making a decision; in some cases, this may be more important. Using intuition to identify potential problems is a valid approach and advocating for longer-term objectives even if the choice does not yield immediate success is a valid position to take.

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