Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth News ‘Analysis paralysis’ is holding British businesses back, new data reveals

‘Analysis paralysis’ is holding British businesses back, new data reveals

by LLB Finance Reporter
18th Jul 23 6:31 am

Alteryx, who are the Analytics Cloud Platform company, released findings from new independent research revealing that UK businesses are struggling to make timely, insight-driven decisions due to ‘analysis paralysis’ (or ‘decision fatigue’).

As businesses navigate a shifting economy, decision-makers have to deliver the right answers at unimaginable speeds, and ‘gut-feeling’ has given way to ‘decision intelligence’.

Decision intelligence is acknowledged as enabling companies to make faster and more intelligent decisions by enabling the full use of all the data available – but while data-driven insights are reshaping outcomes right when UK business leaders need them most, many are struggling to deliver data-driven insights to enhance decision-making at all levels of an organisation.

Alteryx’s research reveals various issues around authority and ownership, problem identification, access to the right analytical tools, data storage locations and long chain of command are blocking the quest to improve overall decision-making quality.

The top-ranked challenges faced by UK decision-makers are too many decisions (28%), a long chain of command (25%) and multiple data storage locations (24%). Further challenges include decisions not being accurate (23%), difficulty identifying the initial problems or opportunities (22%) and a lack of widespread access to analytical tools (22%).

The time it takes to make a decision is also a prevalent issue. A small number of companies make tactical decisions in hours (1%), while others take two weeks (6%).

The majority (19%) take seven days. Strategic decisions showed similar discrepancies, with the majority (55%) taking up to four weeks, the slowest taking up to two months, and the fastest taking just over a week. And even rapid operational decisions show plenty of variation between just hours (25%) and over four days (8%).

At a time when companies need the ability to react and adapt faster than ever, sluggish decision-making is hindering the ability to respond to or build resilience against any crisis.

Jason Janicke, SVP EMEA at Alteryx said, “Paradoxically, decision-makers today are not only struggling with decision fatigue, but analysis paralysis – preventing them from taking their day-to-day, tactical and strategic decisions to the next level.

“While most businesses are already working towards fostering a data-driven culture, a significant gap remains between those who reap the benefits of data analytics and those at the start of their analytic journey.

“Only by breaking free from practices that inhibit the ability of employees to deliver data-driven decision intelligence at scale and fostering a data-driven culture that empowers employees at every level to use data will organisations successfully accelerate transformation.”

Culture of data gatekeeping hindering businesses

Despite acknowledging that collaboration, productivity and decision-making speed could be improved if more employees had access to data & analytics tools, Alteryx’s research reveals a culture of data gatekeeping in UK organisations, with nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents saying they believe only senior leadership should have access to data for decision-making.

Surprisingly, 64% did not think employees who make decisions for the organisation should have access to data for decision-making. Meanwhile, 41% believe access to data should be restricted to specific employees experienced in data management & analysis, and just 2% of organisations surveyed currently grant all their employees access to data for decision-making.

“Our findings demonstrate a concerning ‘decision-making disconnect’: while most respondents agree that access to data improves decision-making, only a small minority grant all their employees access to that data in practice, and the consensus seems to be that data should only be accessible by a privileged few,” continued Janicke.

“Difficult macro-economic conditions demand optimised decision-making not just from leaders but across the entire organisation. As organisations across the UK continue to accelerate nationwide digitalisation journeys, our research highlights why data democratisation continues to be a lynchpin of decision intelligence required to thrive in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.”

Alteryx surveyed 2,800 senior business decision-makers, IT decision-makers, data analysts, and line of business leaders from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Japan about their organisational decision-making. There was equal representation across four industries: financial services and banking, retail, manufacturing (including supply chain) and technology. 82% of the organisations surveyed had more than 1,000 employees and their average revenue was $3.7billion.

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