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


Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.