Break Away From Paralysis Analysis

April 29, 2020

In our modern business landscape, every decision requires a tremendous amount of careful deliberation and analysis. Due to the emergence of Big Data, more and more options and opportunities have been unlocked through extensive scrutiny and study of the data at hand. These added options may be a boone to most businesses but choosing the right choice out of a plethora of opportunities have added a significant amount of time to team decision meetings- so much time that some businesses end up losing more opportunities in the time they took to find more opportunities.

This phenomenon is known as Analysis Paralysis. Described as a rather inevitable and detrimental experience in most modern organisations, Analysis Paralysis is refers to a situation in which an individual or group is unable to move forward with a decision as a result of overanalyzing data or overthinking a problem.

What causes Analysis Paralysis

Because with the development of data science, demographic segmentation and new marketing strategies, companies are now exposed to more choices. Unfortunately, having more choices and opportunities also requires more deliberation time and more time spent researching on the pros and cons of each choice.

Now, it goes without saying that every choice a company makes will always impact them in some way or another. This is why a tremendous amount of stress is put on decisions makers within an organisation because any repercussions can and will be traced back to them. So, of course, with bigger decisions like investments or signing contracts, the decision maker will have to take a few extra hours to weight his or her options before making a well-informed decision. In any normal scenario, that would be the end of it. But, with Analysis Paralysis, the individual becomes lost within the journey of analysing his or her choices to the point that they, themselves, become unsure of the best choice that they can make.

Of course, this disastrous occurrence can lead to several hazards. For examples, missing deals due to the long wait or stress-related breakdowns due to over-working one’s mind. As you could imagine, sitting on a deal for too long is almost akin to sitting on a heated pan for extended periods. You are bound to get burnt.

Breaking Away From Analysis Paralysis

As inevitable and apparent Analysis Paralysis has become in our world, it is crucial to break out of it. You cannot sit on those deals forever and your business will not ascend if no decisions are made. So, how do you break away?

Set A Deadline

This should be a given when managing any project. But, when it comes to important decisions, many people get overwhelmed and attribute “more time” to it. This “more time” often comes with no due date because of how “critical it is to keep working on it”.

But, to break away from analysis paralysis, you first have to break away from this mindset. All projects and all decisions need a deadline. This is to prevent you from allocating an infinite amount of time to one thing.

The More Ears The Better

Most of the time, when making a decision, some managers or higher ups may feel the need to bare the burden on their own for fear of appearing “weak” to subordinates and colleagues. But, “no man is an island”, putting it solely on your shoulders will only cause more stress for you, resulting in poor decision making or inaccurate analysis.

Taking time to ask for listening ear and getting a fresh pair of eyes can help to flesh out more details about each decision that you may have missed. Furthermore, asking trusted colleagues which choice they would pick and why can often be the tie breaker in your mind. After all, every decision affects not only you but those around you as well.

Perfection is Overrated

Finally, the most important thing to note about making decisions is that it will never be perfect. There are no investments with no downsides and no contracts with no cons. The most important thing is that the benefit these decisions bring greatly outweigh the bad.

By remembering that the stars will never perfectly align, you can validate your decision despite the one or two flaws it might have.

The power of data has opened up many doors for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) and large corporations, alike, but, as with anything, there are downsides. Analysis Paralysis is just one of them. But, that doesn’t mean that analysing data is waste of time. Understanding and utilising data is one of the most important skills in today’s business landscape. However, over-analysing data is detrimental to any individual or business. This is why automation features and filters are the key to any successful analysis. Weed out the unimportant lines of data and focus on the ones that directly affect your decision. That way you not only save time on deliberating unimportant factors but also reduce the amount of work that you do.

So, use VAL’s FREE plan to aid you in making informed decisions. If you think you want to learn more, feel free to contact us at @ThinkVAL on twitter or facebook and remember to check out our new plans for VAL which will be launching soon.

Sources: Investopedia. (2020) Analysis Paralysis
Forbes. (2015. 20 March.) How to Overcome The Analysis Paralysis of Decision Making

About the author

Nicole is a freelance designer and writer that has written articles for different sectors.