Management Watch

Blog archive

Survey: Employees trust gut more than data

Most businesses are unable to take advantage of data assets to create a competitive edge or boost corporate performance because the majority of employees don't have the necessary skills to make good business decisions, according to a new survey.

The Corporate Executive Board’s survey of 5,000 workers at international companies reveals that an “insight deficit” is emerging because “employees fail to complement data with the necessary judgment to arrive at optimal conclusions.”

And that lack of judgment affects everyone in the food chain: CEB found that the insight deficit was particularly common among managers, with more than 50 percent of senior managers having insufficient analytical skills.

The research shows that 43 percent of employees trust data without questioning the results. Nearly 20 percent choose to trust their gut feeling instead of data-driven insights, and only 38 percent of the average workforce today consists of individuals with strong analytical skills. CEB has dubbed this cohort "Informed Skeptics."

To overcome the insight deficit, CEB suggests that executives begin cultivating Informed Skeptics across their organizations by:

  • Hiring more employees with analytical skills.
  • Educating employees on the limitations of data and encouraging them to ask critical questions.
  • Creating an analytical training curriculum to support employees.
  • Building a team of coaches.
  • Formalizing decision processes and making performance metrics transparent.

Does the same situation exist in government? The CEB survey didn't consider government organizations, but what have you observed? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Sep 07, 2011 at 12:19 PM


FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Thu, Sep 8, 2011

The public education system is weak on teaching critical thinking skills and strong on teaching test taking skills. It's no wonder people are relying on data (i.e. knowledge needed to answer standard multiple choice questions) not thinking through the situation at hand and whether or not the available data is an accurate reflection of the situation.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group