People feel overwhelmed and under qualified to use data to make decisions and this is hurting their quality of life and business performance, according to a new study – The Decision Dilemma – by Oracle and New York Times bestselling author, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

The study of more than 14,000 employees and business leaders across 17 countries found that people are struggling to make decisions in their personal and professional lives at a time when they are being forced to make more decisions than ever before. 

People in the UK (87%) are the most overwhelmed in Europe by the data deluge. The amount of information available is damaging trust, making decisions more complicated, and negatively impacting our quality of life at home and at work. UK business leaders are suffering the most in Europe (95%) from decision distress due to the overwhelming amount of data which prevents them from working effectively. Therefore, it may not be a surprise that UK leaders are the most confident (76%) in the continent when it comes to delegating decision-making tasks to robots.

The number of decisions we are making is multiplying and more data is not helping. Brits are overwhelmed by the amount of data, and this is damaging trust, making decisions much more complicated, and negatively impacting their quality of life. This has been reflected by the study’s findings, which display that 83% of people in the UK (74%) say the number of decisions they make every day has increased 10x over the last three years and as they try to make these decisions, and 87% (78% globally) have said that they are getting bombarded with more data from more sources than ever before.

The matter of data saturation is further highlighted by key statistics presented by the study, which show that 92% (86% globally) say the volume of data is making decisions in their personal and professional lives much more complicated and 61% (59% globally) admit they face a decision dilemma – not knowing what decision to make – more than once every single day. On top of this, 41% of people in the UK (35% globally) don’t know which data or sources to trust and 71% (70% globally) have given up on making a decision because the data was overwhelming.

When touching on this, Oracle UK country leader, Siobhan Wilson, said: “We have far too much data at our fingertips to make sense of all by ourselves.

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“This is leaving the whole workforce feeling overwhelmed, clouding our sense of judgement and causing hesitation over important decisions. In the UK, our leaders are the most likely in Europe to regret or question decisions made, and the least likely to take risks.

“As we navigate these rough economic seas, this needs to change. Businesses already see the value of data in decision making, they just need to rethink how to get a better hold on this and glean insights more effectively. This is where technology comes in – improving the accuracy and trustworthiness behind decision-making, while reducing the stress and anxiety surrounding this.