Intuition is key: We don’t need big data say CIOs

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Most CIOs prefer to use professional experience when dealing with external events and customer requirements shows Colt study

Despite the hype about the importance of big data intelligence, most enterprise CIOs prefer to use their intuition when it comes to making strategic decisions, according to research.

Continued insularity” in the IT department is said to be demonstrated by 68 percent of CIOs basing “pressured decisions” on instinct and experience, above any other factor. And over three-quarters (76 percent) admit their intuition is sometimes at odds with other sources, such as data or advice from third parties.

Data analyticsThe study of 300 CIOs in the UK, France and Germany, commissioned by Colt, also found that 71 percent of senior IT leaders felt that intuition and personal experience is, “on balance”, more effective than data intelligence when making decisions.

Asked to list important scenarios when making decisions, the areas where professional experience trumped hard data included when managing external events. And the majority felt that when responding to emerging customer requirements professional experience also “informed effective decisions”.

In addition, professional experience was considered of higher importance than data and intelligence when dealing with changing compliance regulations.

Carl Grivner, EVP at Colt, said: “When the stakes are high and a CIO is feeling the pressure to make the right decision that will result in business and career success, the natural reaction is to draw on instinct and professional judgement.”

He said: “IT leaders need to embrace their growing strategic role and work collaboratively with other business partners to drive innovation and create a competitive advantage. The research indicates the IT department is often too insulated.

In today’s digital world there must be a greater engagement with other business areas and external resources to drive success.”

That said, the research didn’t consider whether those CIOs relying on their instinct got their decisions badly wrong or not.

@AntonySavvas