I think that man great decision-makers use data even if they don't realize it. They take input from their team; they look at the financial indicators from their company; they survey the market to see what competitors are doing. All of these things are data. Not all data can be found in a spreadsheet. At its core, data is simply another way of saying information. And the better informed leaders are, the better decisions they will make.
When you've got to make tough decisions for your business, my recommendation is to seek out all the data you can possibly get. Your decisions are only as good as the data on which they're based. If you feel you have a good intuition, it's probably because you've simply been immersed in the data without even fully realizing it. The more you know about your company, the industry, and the market in general, the better equipped you will be to make the solid decisions you need to make. Find the best available data, and then use it to make the best decisions.
As leaders in the mortgage industry, we are called about to make critical decisions that not only influence the direction of our companies but, at the aggregate level, sway the movement of our entire industry. Many managers in business pride themselves on their ability to make good decisions; they feel they have a great intuitive grasp on decision-making. But I would argue that the people who make the best decisions aren't relying on their intuition – they’re relying on the data.