The most essential facet of being a manager, be it in any walk of life, is for sure the one skill that differentiates him/her from anybody else and that is: Decision-making. It is most definitely the power, rather the ability of a person to take prudent, relevant and effective decisions that set him/her a notch ahead in the race that the corporate run comprises. Thus, we not only need to know what or why, but how to make decisions, how to make the choices that we make, to be able to foresee what lies in store having made those choices and to be positive that the alternatives have an opportunity cost that is less likely to exceed the benefits from the plan A that we choose.
The mind always works on matter, matter that is assimilated, accumulated, observed, absorbed and created. This matter more often than not comprises facts and figures that we come across over a period of time and it is this that formulates our opinions on issues and circumstances and should guide us in choosing the way forward. Oneâ€™s experiences are a key to learning and avoid mistakes, but life is all about new challenges and it isnâ€™t necessary that oneâ€™s challenge will be the otherâ€™s or that oneâ€™s solution will work out for the other, problems, solutions and hence decisions, vary, with time and tide, to each his own.
Decision-making is a crucial skill for treading on the path to success. It is imperative thus that one take informed decisions, rather than impulsive or intuitive ones. This itself can be illustrated by the use of numerical figures in terms of probability of a decision being a thumbs-up or a downer based on whether it is based on gut-feeling or not, where a gutsy decision has a fair and square half chance of hitting the bulls-eye, an informed, data driven decision based on historical data can warrant a chance much greater than that of being a winner.
Data analytics, a field of research, an active component of all industrial data processing and reporting, has become the buzz-word in the world of business. It is owing to the stress on hard core historical data projection and information related to past trends, their relevance, their cyclical patterns, any relational change between parameters and many other such ways of engineering data to deduce important facts and identify occurrences, areas of improvement, effect of factors and even have a decent foresight by extrapolating trends, assuming at times ceteris paribus. It is the mere fact that this subject is being undertaken as a specialization in some of the newer and premiere business schools in the country that relays its importance, its applicability and the extent to which it can play a role in making key decisions easier for every managerial level all courtesy the heavy data dependency, real data building up virtual images only for a clearer picture albeit a surer one.
While the success of data driven decision making can itself be proved through data, its wonder lies in the fact that one can also prove the risk related to intuition based choices in a data driven manner.
There is a reason the rational mind which processes such data is called analytical. It overcomes the biases of the emotional mind and loosens the shackles of a narrow-minded attitude towards things or the safe zone preference based on conservative beliefs, prevalent practices and recency effect of happenings. Strong and concrete data has the power to shake people out of the herd mentality and of Utopian expectations based on rosy optimism rather than hard-hitting realism. Mostly intuitive decisions tend to land people in false situations, because they are taken either in haste or due to ignorance. Either way, it makes waste due to the hurry in which it is taken without any deliberation or any heed to the consequence, totally reliant on luck for the outcome, well if good, expected if bad. In case of ignorance, the risk is even higher as the stakeholder in question very conveniently underestimates the potential risk and can in fact land in a whole lot of trouble, based on the decision ending up seeming gullible, irrational and more often than not irresponsible and unreliable.
Thus we can say that data plays a key role, be it that of the number of germs that a disinfectant can kill or that of the amount of disposable income in the economy that drives consumption, be it the household consumer or the government bodies, be it the decision of keeping yourself healthy or the nation, it is data alone that can be relied upon for a less blurred vision of the future through the spectacles of the past. If such decisions were to be made on the flip of a coin, only probability data related to the outcomes of a coin flip can tell us which side we would be losing, the health of the nation or the its people, either of which states the vulnerability of intuition as a tool for making choices against rationality which is but obvious the only choice to make when deciding, anything, big or small, for the better and not remotely for the worse.
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