Don’t trust your instincts

by Ben Myers

All too often, when it comes to online businesses, we tend to simply go with our gut feeling. Will a video on the homepage increase bounce rate? What sort of discount will result in the most sales?

Most online business owners and managers just don’t have the time or mental energy to perform the tasks required to determine these best practices. Well, a blog post by the Harvard Business Review has some harsh words for business owners who just shoot from the hip: There’s a much better way of doing business.

Andrew McAfee states that while there are some cases where human intuition has become a useful tool, in modern business, there’s no reason to ignore data and critical analysis.

Overall, we get inferior decisions and outcomes in crucial situations when we rely on human judgment and intuition instead of on hard, cold, boring data and math. This may be an uncomfortable conclusion, especially for today’s intuitive experts, but so what? I can’t think of a good reason for putting their interests over the interests of patients, customers, shareholders, and others affected by their judgments.

However, if talk of statistical analysis makes you think of punch cards and supercomputers, you’re way off track. There are a plethora of (sometimes free!) online tools that can help online business owners and managers make the best decisions based on real data, generated by your website visitors and customers.

Of course, here at Napkyn, we help business owners and managers make sense of this data using digital analysis. Quite often, we find underserved segments and opportunities for conversion that intuition and guess work would never have stumbled upon.

So you don’t have to trust your gut anymore–unless you’re thinking about lunch, of course.

Ben Myers

Analyst

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