PwC Releases 2016 ‘Big Decisions’ Global Data and Analytics Survey

Executives seek understanding of how to mix mind and machine for faster, more sophisticated decision-making

Toronto, ON (June 30, 2016) – PwC has officially released its 2016 Big Decisions Survey, focused on how enterprises around the world are limiting risk and leveraging data to make the Big Decisions that will give them a competitive edge.

With insights across 15 industries such as healthcare, banking & capital markets, communications, energy, utilities & mining, and technology, the survey of more than 2,100 company decision-makers and leaders found that:

  • There are three most important Big Decisions facing executives. Launching new products and services (31%); entering new markets (17%); and investing in IT (15%).
  • Highly data-driven companies are ready to compete. Companies are looking to grow in new markets and a large portion of them (48%) describe themselves as highly data driven.
  • Executives have great ambition to increase decision speed and sophistication. Executives want decision-making to be faster, especially in banking, insurance, and healthcare. But decision-makers say there’s even more work to be done on sophistication.
  • Companies are beginning to understand the power of forward-looking predictive and prescriptive analytics. But there are still a surprisingly low number (29%) of companies who use predictive analytics.
  • A significant role for machines is emerging. 41% of leaders say Big Decisions will require analysis using machine algorithms.

“Data can be an extremely underutilized tool, and a company’s capability to access the right data, at the right time, and then look at it through the right lens, can make or break a bottom line,” said Dan DiFilippo, PwC’s Global and US Data and Analytics Leader. “Leaders are stuck at a crossroads, with 28% of decision-makers polled stating that they’re just trying to survive in a state of disruption. This survey demonstrates the often unrealized value of data to lower the inherent risk in decision-making, and sheds light on how companies can reassess the data they have to become stronger and increasingly competitive.”

PwC’s newest survey encourages companies to ask the right questions that will lead to data solutions. Companies need to not just collect big data, but question their sphere of discovery, understand how to find the questions worth asking (before looking for the answers in the data), build an awareness of who is responsible for making decisions and taking action and really think about how to track outcomes to determine if the best approach is being taken.

The full survey can be found at

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