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Which analytical challenge does your organization predominately face?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Which analytical challenge does your organization predominately face?

  • Analysis paralysis — We never stop running the numbers: 38%
  • Weak analysis — We draw conclusions based on limited data: 35%
  • Confirmation bias — We only look at data that support our idea: 20%
  • No challenges — We’re great at analysis: 8%

Paralysis and Weakness Dominate Analysis. It seems folks are on both ends of the spectrum. They’re either doing too much analysis and being paralyzed in the process or they’re not doing enough analysis and are making decisions based on weak fact sets. There are ways to break out of these dynamics. Taking a hypothesis-based approach to problem solving and making recommendations can help you focus on the necessary analysis required to prove your case. This approach stops analysis paralysis because it focuses your work on the most important analyses. The approach also ensures rigor because it points out what analyses are required for making a decision. The next time you go to solve a problem, try a hypothesis-based approach to how you conduct analysis.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”