Acumen Partners Articles

Making Critical Decisions


CEO’s, CFO’s and especially CMO’s often rely on intuition when making critical decisions. But the fact is, executives dramatically increase their chances of success when they bring real-time data into the decision-making process.

Experience and instincts help executives make quick decisions. BUT fast decisions aren’t necessarily good decisions. At Acumen, we derive facts from industry data analysis. This information allows you to make more informed leadership choices.

Although intuitive decision-making is simple and quick, a lack of underlying data makes it hard to diagnose and correct problems when something goes wrong. Using Acumen’s data tools, we can drill down to find the root cause of problems and help you use factual analysis to set a new course.

Take, for example, the consumer move to shopping online. Big data has dramatically increased the market’s understanding of customers. Online retailers can track not only what customers buy, but also what else they viewed; how they navigated through the site; how much they were influenced by promotions, reviews, and page layouts; and similarities across individuals and groups. This data helped retailers like Amazon improve offerings and gain market share by advancing from strength to strength.

Today’s consumers expect digital companies to gather insights and develop offerings that business executives could only dream of a generation ago.

In fact, data can improve all our business decisions. Correctly understood, data allows us to competently drive or radically transform existing businesses when they are off track. Obtaining the right data and accurately analyzing it is key to every step of success, for every business regardless of industry.

Modern tools allow us to capture, measure, and compare data more effectively than ever before. As a result, today’s companies compete by managing processes with greater precision than has ever been possible. Accurate data allows us make better predictions and smarter decisions. We can target more-effective interventions. We can manage aspects of our companies that have previously been dominated by intuition with data-driven discipline and rigor.

Studies show that cumulative improvement is hard to obtain when executives react to problems instead of using facts to make prudent business decisions. And since most of your competitors are using data, companies that base decisions on gut feel or instinct are increasingly at a competitive disadvantage.

Data-driven decision-making is particularly effective at an operational or tactical level where risks must be managed. When aided by technology, data makes it easy to automate rudimentary tasks and decisions.

In fact, intuition-based and fact-based decision-making aren’t competing concepts. They actually complement each other. Acumen collects data across all business functions to project outcomes and validate the return on proposed programs or new products. We also use this data to guide leadership teams and build consensus using facts instead of politics and personal preferences.

Strategic decision-making requires risk taking. Success hinges on market timing, execution, and a certain amount of luck. Acumen Partners’ real-time industry data just makes your executives better gamblers.

Kamar ShahMaking Critical Decisions


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