decision- making

During a recent vacation to Italy, I experienced a decision-making crisis.

I drove into the middle of Montepulciano. It could have been a disaster because cars are not allowed to venture into the old part of town, which has crazily narrow streets.

Fortunately, a policeman escorted me to the highway – probably to make sure that I didn’t come back.

For many reasons, this “adventure” should not have happened. I was using Here Maps, an awesome mobile app, as a navigation guide. The problem was I failed to activate the route so I took a wrong turn.

My escape from Montepulciano got me thinking about relying on data versus trusting your gut.

In a data-driven world, many decisions are based on numbers, metrics, and benchmarks. Companies collect and analyze data to generate insight to make smarter and better decisions. By leveraging data, we avoid mistakes and misadventures.

But what about the power of trusting your gut?

What about decision-making based on feel, intuition or intangibles? It is about deciding to do something because it feels right or good. There are no numbers involved. It is an emotional decision, rather than rational.

At a time when data is becoming king, does gut-feel have a role to play in making decisions? If there is data available, does it mean gut-feel plays a secondary role?

Personally, I think decisions can be made by data, gut-feel or, more likely, a combination of both. Not all decisions are logical or rational. Many decisions hinge on a leap of faith as opposed to depending on data to select the “right” option.

What do you think? Is there still a place for decision-making driven by gut feel in a data-driven world?


I helped dozens of startups plan and build rock-solid marketing engines that drive more awareness, leads, and sales. There are different ways we can work together – everything from messaging and brand positioning to strategic planning and content to get customers into and through the sales funnel.

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