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Indian CXOs In Dire Need Of Better Decision-making Tools, Tech: Kapil Makhija, Oracle India

About 86 per cent of employees and business leaders from across the globe say the volume of data is making decisions in their personal and professional lives much more complicated. This number is even higher when it comes to Indian business leaders at 92 per cent

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A study on decision-making by Oracle and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz on Tuesday revealed that people today are feeling intensely pressurised and underqualified to use data to make decisions. The study of over 14,000 employees and business leaders across 17 countries found people are struggling to make decisions in their personal and professional lives at a time when they are being forced to make more decisions than ever before.

About 86 per cent of respondents from across the globe say the volume of data is making decisions in their personal and professional lives much more complicated. This number is even higher when it comes to Indian respondents at 92 per cent.

Rather alarming is the fact that due to the overwhelming volume of data 80 per cent of Indian and 70 per cent of global respondents say they have given up on making decisions.  

“People are drowning in data,” said Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, data scientist and author of Everybody Lies and Don’t Trust Your Gut. “This study highlights how the overwhelming amount of inputs a person gets in their average day -- internet searches, news alerts, unsolicited comments from friends -- frequently add up to more information than the brain is configured to handle.”

Business leaders in India want data to help and know it is critical to the success of their organisations, but don’t believe they have the tools to be successful which are eroding their confidence and ability to make timely decisions. The study revealed that 99 per cent of them want help from data. In an ideal world, they want data to help them: make better decisions (60 per cent), reduce risk (46 per cent), make faster decisions (54 per cent), make more money (45 per cent), and plan for the unexpected (29 per cent).

“People are tempted to throw out the confusing, and sometimes conflicting, data and just do what feels right. But this can be a big mistake. It has been proven over and over again that our instincts can lead us astray and the best decision-making is done with a proper understanding of the relevant data. Finding a way to get a handle on the stream of data at their fingertips, to help businesses distinguish between the signal and the noise, is a crucial first step,” he added.

Indian Leaders Want More Decision-making Support

Interestingly, the data reflected much higher numbers for the Indian demography in comparison to other regions. For example, 96 per cent of Indian respondents believe they want to work in a company that uses technology to make data-driven decisions. In comparison, globally 78 per cent feel the same (in JAPAC 76 per cent and in EMEA 73 per cent).

Similarly, 95 per cent of Indian respondents believe that a company that uses technology to make data-driven decisions is a company they are more likely to invest in. The numbers are far lower globally at 76 per cent, JAPAC at 75 per cent and EMEA at 74 per cent.

BW Businessworld asked Kapil Makhija (Vice President-Technology (Cloud), Oracle India) why Indian business leaders were much more inclined toward data-based decision-making than other regions surveyed. “There’s intense work happening in India and the country’s growth is seen by everybody. Hence, there is a lot of demand for solutions which is, in turn, putting a lot of pressure on Indian CXOs. Very similar to other countries, but slightly more so,” Makhija said.

He explained that there is excess data and a lot of information to process as the work is happening at a quick pace which is pressuring the decision-makers to make immediate decisions.

“They have to take a decision immediately and it has to be the right decision. But the challenge they face is that it has to be done by leveraging data, taking into consideration which data to trust, which source to trust and then after all this – data has to be contextual. Many times, they come to us because they know that Oracle has been there in the data industry for the last four decades. In fact, we have been present in India for the last three decades,” Makhija elaborated.

He shared that the decision-making dilemma existed across the globe but the condition was exacerbated in India due to the high growth momentum of the country. Makhija emphasised that Indian business leaders were in dire need of decision-making tools and technologies in today’s data-driven enterprise ecosystem due to the immense pressure of delivering results.

According to an IDC report, the spending on Big Data and Analytics (BDA) in Asia Pacific is expected to reach USD 42.2 billion in 2023 and USD 70.7 billion by 2026.

“Business leaders in Asia Pacific are increasingly aware of the role quality data and analytics can play in uncovering deep market and customer insights, disrupting legacy business, and even transforming whole industries,” said Dr. Chris Marshall, Research VP at IDC. 

“Adopting such a data, analytics and AI-driven approach to digital transformation is becoming table stakes for regional leaders as they look to boost revenues and create greater cost efficiencies in the uncertain economic climate,” he concluded.