85% of business leaders would let a robot make their decisions

Overwhelmed by data and decision-making, many business leaders are ready for robots to take over.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
Robot analyzing data
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

There is so much data out there today that it is causing much anxiety among office workers, with business leaders wishing robots can make decisions for them. 

Some 74% in Asia-Pacific said the number of decisions they made each day had increased tenfold in the last three years, with 86% noting that the volume of data made decisions at work and in life more complicated. Another 89% said the inability to make decisions was creating a negative impact on their quality of life, revealed a survey by Oracle, in partnership with DKC Analytics

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With so much data out there, 33% said they did not know which sources or data to trust and feel overwhelmed, while 71% had simply given up on making a decision. The study polled 14,000 employees and business leaders globally, including 4,500 from six Asia-Pacific markets: Singapore, Australia, South Korea, China, India, and Japan. 

Amid the information overload, 92% said they changed the way they made decisions over the last three years, with 31% relying entirely on gut feel. Some 96% wanted help from existing data but believed they lacked the skills to interpret the information in meaningful ways. 

Overwhelmed by the volume of data, 85% of business leaders would let a robot make their decisions and avoid the challenges posed. 

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Some 87% admitted to suffering from "decision distress", having regretted or feeling guilty about decisions they made in the past year. Another 73% said the lack of trust in data and the volume of data had stopped them from making any decision. 

And while business leaders in the region recognize data is critical to their company's success, the majority feel they lack the right tools to harness it. 

The study found that 74% said dashboards and charts they received did not always relate directly to decisions they had to make, with 77% describing most available data as helpful only for IT professionals or data scientists. 

Some 47% said managing different data sources required additional resources to collect all the data, while 38% said it slowed down strategic decision-making. Another 31% having to manage different data sources created more opportunities for error. 

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However, 97% believed the right data and insight could help them make better HR (human resources) decisions, while 95% and 93% said likewise for supply chain and finance-related decisions, respectively. 

Some 43% wanted data to help them make better decisions, while 37% would want it to reduce risk and 30% wanted data to plan for the unexpected. 

90% believed access to the right type of decision intelligence could make or break their company's success. 

Without data, 45% of respondents said their decisions would be less accurate, while 41% said they would be prone to error. 

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"As businesses expand to serve customers in new ways, the number of data inputs required to get the full picture expands, too," said Chris Chelliah, Oracle's Asia-Pacific Japan senior vice president of technology and customer strategy. "The hesitancy, distrust, and lack of understanding of data shown in this study align with what we hear from customers rethinking their approach to decision making."

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