Are You Stuck in Analysis Paralysis?

pic Listening to the customers involves paying active attention to all relevant data sources, and that can be exhausting with so much information all around us. In an earlier blog, I discussed how companies fail to listen and analyze customers information and getting stuck in the middle of their own actions. Now, sometimes, people keep gathering information through business intelligence, surveys, feedback systems; however, at the end, they suffer information overload and analysis paralysis. They get frozen with so many options and information available around them at the end of their research.

In general many of us have heard about information overload, but how to figure out if you are victim of it. A simple way to get the general idea.  Just, keep a track of how long your meeting was, and how many actionable idea you came up with during it. When your meetings seems like “big ideas hell", and no idea seem to take off the white board, it can be a serious symptom of analysis paralysis. Sometimes, after or during getting the market research feedback, such situations take place when everything around you seems chaotic, confusing and messy that you are unable to take any actions. 

Presently, I am reading the academic literature in the field of organization science to explore some theoretical ideas or frameworks, which might help explain analysis paralysis, the process of listening the customers’ voice and engaging them into meaningful conversations. I came across a very interesting research paper on process of sense making by organizational theorist Karl Weick and his colleagues, and I found it relevant in this context.

During my literature review, in general, I found following four important steps:
  1. Sift through chaotic data and filter very specific information to see the problem more clearly.
  2. Make assumptions, make decision and take actions
  3. Ask right questions to see the systemic implications of the actions
  4. Reflect and revise the assumptions
  5. Go back to the first step
In the next post, I will share more research on the topic and explain these ideas in more detail. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you: Have you ever got stuck with the analysis paralysis? How did you deal with it? How could you manage to encourage rational confident decisions in the middle of chaos?
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