How "decision distress" is impacting your performance

A new report from Oracle finds that 74% of people say they make 10 times as many decisions every day as they did three years ago.

Oracle's new report shows that 74% of respondents say they have made 10 times more decisions in the past three years.

In the workplace, people often face decision dilemmas. They don't know what to do. 85% of people admit that these dilemmas negatively affect their quality of living.

Seth Stephen Davidwitz, NYT best-selling economist, data scientist and NYT author, helped us to understand how to overcome data overload and analysis paralysis in order to reduce decision fatigue. He worked with Oracle to create the new report.

Stephens-Davidowitz : Too many people are faced with too many decisions, but they lack the guidance to make them.

74% of respondents to the Decision Dilemma Global Study, which I conducted in partnership with Oracle, said that the number of daily decisions they made has increased by 10x during the past three years.

Decision distress, or the mental exhaustion caused by the sheer number decisions that a person has to make every day, now impacts both the personal and professional life of a person.

What happens when people are unsure about their decisions? They often don't take any decisions. This is a serious problem for our employees and can cause a drop in creativity and efficiency. This can affect employee morale as well as a company's bottom-line.

More information is available to the public to help them make informed decisions. This would seem to be a good thing. People feel overwhelmed by data. Other optimal decisions can be made based on different data sources. Some people question the accuracy of the data or are not properly trained to interpret them. The data can seem irrelevant at times.

Many people are forced to rely on their gut instinct and ignore the data.

86% of respondents say that the amount of data makes decisions more difficult. Further, 85% of people believe that it has a negative impact on their quality-of-life and leads to anxiety spikes and missed opportunities.

Many employees still make decisions in the traditional way, by following their gut instinct.

It was a surprise to me. We tend to think of business leaders who are in charge and not those who would like to delegate decision-making.

The results suggest that while business leaders are aware of the power of modern data analytics, they do not know how to fully take advantage of them. It also shows how many business leaders believe that decision-making is becoming more difficult. Artificial intelligence and tools such as ChatGPT are generating a lot excitement. People are increasingly imagining that such tools can do the work for them.

Business leaders would have more mental energy and less fatigue if robots were to take over the complex and time-consuming decision making process.

Data is a critical tool for business leaders to make informed decisions. In an ideal scenario, data could help business leaders to reduce risk, increase profits, and become more efficient. Data-driven organizations are the most successful in many fields, from baseball teams to hedge fund to tech firms.

Many business leaders believe that data does not work for them. 89% of business executives believe that the increasing number of data sources have limited the success their organizations.

The business leaders of today are not only hungry for data, but also for the right data.

Business leaders must be able to translate their insights into action and organize the tidal waves of data. The good news is? The technology can help.

The data and information business leaders receive are not always relevant. 77% of leaders in business say dashboards and charts are not always relevant to their decisions.

Data and analytics must be relevant to the decisions of businesses. The technology allows leaders to process data as quickly as it comes in. Cloud solutions that have automation and context built in can help executives to sort through the flood of information. This results in greater efficiency, increased innovation and, most importantly less decision fatigue.

Six recommendations I can make:

When faced with a difficult decision, it is important to discuss the data that will help you make a good decision. Discuss what numbers might cause you to make different decisions before looking at any data.

Be willing to take a decision that is counterintuitive based on the data. Data is often used by organizations to justify their actions, rather than to guide them in a different direction.

Before collecting new data, you should consider whether there are already data sources that can help make this decision. Many organizations collect redundant information.

Fourth, use world-class technologies that can simplify complex data and help you extract the most important takeaways.

Fifth, become more comfortable with probabilistic reasoning. Different data will always lead to different decisions. Few decisions are a no-brainer. You should not feel overwhelmed by data that suggests, for example, that a decision has a 60% likelihood of being good. You will feel confused and overwhelmed if you expect perfect clarity.

Hire employees who are skilled in data analysis and communication. This rare combination is extremely valuable in helping an organization make the most of data and find the story hidden within a mountainous amount of data.