Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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Accenture study: Companies structured for gut-thinking, not analytics

February 4, 2010General

An Accenture study released today has some grim news for the analytically-minded. The survey of 600 senior managers shows that more than half of the blue-chip companies have structures that block analytics from decision-making. The problem: There's not enough talent, and the talent they have is often cordoned off in a geek wing.

Interestingly, while 71% of the top managers expressed strong commitment to statistical analysis in their companies, they often don't practice what they preach:

"The research revealed that senior managers currently fail to see fact- and data-driven analysis as critical when making key business decisions and instead rely heavily on ‘gut feel’ and ‘soft’ factors such as consultation with others, intuition and experience."

Makes sense. If you've crawled your way to the top of a big company, you're probably pretty confident in the gut-based decisions that guided you. So analytics might be fine for everyone else... As today's Times op-ed on dysfunction at Microsoft makes clear, the status quo has a rock solid constituency in just about any company.

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