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Attack of the Killer Hippos

Posted on December 15, 2011 , by Steve Bernstein

We’ve previously written about how Hippos – HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion – can damage ROI.  It’s worth calling out a recent McKinsey study titled, “A Rising Role for IT”, may have inadvertently shined the light on this through a footnote that I think is worth calling out:

“…respondents say their companies are shifting decision making to incorporate more data and analytics in almost all corporate functions, with the highest share (60 percent) citing marketing and sales as where this is likely to occur. 3

And then

3 In our November 2011 survey “What marketers say about working online: McKinsey Global survey results,” we asked respondents (all of whom represent the sales and marketing functions of their companies) which types of data their marketing departments’ typical decisions rely on, and only 14 percent say their data is limited and that decision making relies on management expertise and experience”

We also see the included graphic, which shows that the greatest percentage of respondents feel that the biggest barrier to adoption is “Company culture prioritizes experience over data.”

Click image to see full size

True, small sample sizes and perhaps a lack of “trustworthy data” in this study (of which we’ve also written) might cloud the results, but at least for this group of respondents it seems ego may be a barrier.  What am I missing – am I reading this too fast or do we see an opportunity to manage our corporate culture and defer to our customers to optimize decision making?