Business analytics and decision making: The human dimension

The briefing outlines how best practice in decision making is shifting towards an insight-driven process based on the rational interpretation and understanding of data.

This briefing highlights that in most organisations, the emphasis with analytics and big-data initiatives is typically on deploying tools and implementing data-extraction processes, which usually seeks to improve the quantity, quality, availability and timeliness of information. The person's (or people) side of the equation can be all but ignored, possibly apart from some training to use the new tools. 
This briefing argues for the need to focus on human dimension – how people process information, learn, create knowledge and make decisions – acknowledging that creating sense and understanding takes place in the human mind.
Management accounting is a discipline that can bring professional rigour to decision making and management accountants are well positioned to be important contributors of the human dimension that is the foundation of success with analytics.
Following an analysis of the difficulty of analytics and the crucial role of storytelling and visualisation in communicating the results of any analysis, the report describes the personal skills and competencies that management accountants must possess to be recognised as credible leaders co-creating insight. The report concludes with guidance for those seeking to drive decision making with insight rather than intuition.