The value of your gut
I agree with Thomas Waligum's article, "To Hell with Business Intelligence: 40 Percent of Execs Trust Gut". However, as the CEO of a desktop dashboard software firm that extols the virtues of having operational metrics right in front of you to accelerate and improve decisions, does this not fly in the face of what we're all about?
Maybe not: only 40% of Execs in Waligum's article go with their guts. That implies that a majority of the Execs do rely on some kind of business intelligence. What we really need to see is a corporate performance comparison between the two camps to judge which approach offers better results. Even among the minority of respondents that do rely on gut instinct, Waligum points out that most of these only do so because good data was not available. Rather than endorsing gut-based decision-making over BI, the stats actually suggest Executives only turn to their instincts when they are forced to do so. It sounds like Execs will be only too happy to trade in their stomach-based magic 8 balls for a business intelligence dashboard.
Regardless, it's a good read that makes you think about how you make decisions. I bet readers will agree that it's not an either-or relationship, it's both-and.
I rarely ignore my gut (to the horror of some of my colleagues - but I call it experience). But I also use Klipfolio Dashboard obsessively, and rarely ignore what the numbers are telling me.
Klipfolio Dashboard alerts me to issues, early trends, and exceptions - things I almost certainly would not catch as quickly without my dashboard. The numbers don't lie but neither do they tell the whole truth. Business is complex and myriad internal and external variables influence why bookings are up or on-time shipments are down.
The key lesson is that reporting tools, scorecards and dashboards can help us identify opportunities and issues earlier than before. There may be no replacement for gut instinct, but when you pair instinct with performance metrics, you've got a really winning combination.