‘IT and intuition work best when placed next to each other’
In a new digital age of ‘big data’ and quantitative analytics, does a manager’s intuition matter anymore? Big data is an umbrella term for solutions which were earlier referred to as data storage, analytics, prediction, and optimization. It has gained popularity today because of the volume, speed, and variety of data being generated from mobile devices and IoT. Organizations are evolving and responding to changes in the IT environment as new services and applications improve the market. Lost in all this hype is a key factor—the power of intuition.
trust your instincts
Relying on intuition is a practice that has driven business leaders to success. Intuition and experiential learning empower you to judge the competitive landscape, and understand what to look for in a product, what matters to customers, and what to do with the data. There is an interesting theory that intuition is data—that human intuition is processed in the ultimate black box algorithm.
big data and intuition not to be seen in silos
Surely, IT and intuition work best when placed not against, but next to each other. Intuition comes into play when managers speak from experience—insights an organization would miss if it spent its time staring at numbers. Organizations must continue to invest in big data and base crucial decisions on it. Meanwhile, the management can ensure IT and business executives are a part of the analytics process right from the beginning. Otherwise, there is a risk of useful insights staying hidden. The machines do not have all the answers, nor do the executives. Management can avoid arguments between numbers and experience by creating an analytical ecosystem which includes all the involved members.
finding a middle path
The management should understand the strengths and weaknesses of man and machine. Firstly, identify the exclusive benefits each one offers and how the other one can take it forward. For this, you must also understand the limitations each one comes with. For instance, it is a known fact that algorithms work as tools, not as an end-to-end solution. Data science is not sophisticated enough to predict whether a product will be successful. Ultimately, the decision is left to instinct on how consumers will react to a new idea. To ask the right questions, decision-makers must have a intuitive understanding of the organization and its objectives. The trick lies in knowing when to dive into data. It requires an understanding of when and how to incorporate managerial instincts into data-driven decisionmaking. For this reason, even data-driven companies should cultivate intuition.
but you need a little security for big data
Organizations are increasingly relying on analytics to make real-time decisions. Unlike intuition, even small changes in big data can have a big impact. This brings to fore the importance of safeguarding it by determining data confidentiality levels, classifying sensitive data, deciding where critical data is to be located, and establishing secure access models for both the data and analysis.
After all, “We start with the data, but the final call is always gut,” as Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings said. Thus, the days of picking between big data and intuition have been replaced by the awareness of its merged benefits.