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Business: It’s Personal

It is the age of big data, to be sure, and no one’s going to scratch that reputation from a stretch of human existence marked by a truly staggering amount of information. But we overlook the part flesh-and-blood qualifiers play in our daily dramas erroneously.

head-vs-heartA new study confirms that we’re making decisions these days in much the same way we did before we had access to the massive data stores we do now.

A burst of research from global advertising agency gyro and The Fortune Knowledge Group, Time Inc.’s BI division, says that it’s subjective elements — think company culture, values and reputation — that swing the heavier bat among a majority of decision-making senior business execs. Nearly two-thirds of the 720 bigwigs (whose companies clear $500 million annually) polled said these human factors tip their scales, rather than hard analytics, when facing high-level business choice.

All told, 62 percent of business leaders said they trust their gut, and 68 percent said the reward they anticipate for doing so trumps their fear of failure with same.

These results, says the study’s accompanying analysis, suggest that the great preponderance and ever-growing volume of information to which the world currently has access is potentially overwhelming enough to send decision-makers back into the arms of instinct.

But fans of big data needn’t fear: a majority of senior business executives call data an “important tool.”

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