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Data could be the key to better business decisions

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Pressmaster)

European company leaders are under more pressure than ever before, putting serious pressure on their ability to make the right business decisions, new research has suggested.

A report from Splunk surveying business heads across the continent found that nearly all (90 percent) of those surveyed were making business critical decisions within the same business day, while over two-thirds (67 percent) made such decisions in less than two hours. 

Overall, businesses are making on average seven critical business decisions every week.

However many leaders feel they often lack the right amount of data to make the right choices, with a need to respond quickly viewed as paramount. Splunk found that 40 percent of C-Level executives felt that the need for fast action was holding them back from asking for more data, with a "gut feeling" driving nearly half of all decisions made by those at the top of the organisational pile.

Less than one in 100 leaders said their decisions were always data-led, with many saying they only used such information after making a final choice.

This was despite nearly all of the respondents (92 percent) saying they could name a specific business area that they believe more accurate data could help to improve, with a third (33 percent) citing ‘customer growth’ as the biggest business opportunity that data could unlock for their business.

“The fact that businesses are producing vast amounts of data is indisputable, but it’s clear from this research that our senior business leaders, including those at board level, are still struggling to access the data on their own terms, when they really need it to power live, forward looking decisions,” said James Hodge, chief technical advisor, Splunk. 

“As an industry we need to do more to support businesses apply their own data to everything they do, and turn it from business diagnosis or remedy, into business development”.