Analytical decision-making is an approach where a leader or manager only makes important business decisions with solid data or information in hand. This style contrasts with more intuitive leadership styles where managers make many decisions using intuition or opinion. While analytical decision-makers benefit from a deliberate, thoughtful approach, this style also has some drawbacks.

Delayed Action

A key flaw with analytical decision-making is that it takes time. While this point is beneficial when you have the time and the decision is important, it is problematic when time is of the essence. Analytical decision-makers struggle with deadlines and a sense of urgency with decisions. In situations where you need more timely action, decisions based on some information and intuition may work better.

Frustration in Teams

When working on a leadership team, an analytical decision-maker can frustrate those he works with. In some cases, teams want to work efficiently toward a decision and can't. Over time, a highly analytical decision-maker develops a reputation as the "devil's advocate" or "20 questions" person in the leadership team or work group. This image causes others to constantly look to him to delay decisions or analyze all facets of a situation.

Lack of Flexibility

The desire to be right is a major driver of analytical decision-making. Leaders who use this style don't want to make mistakes. This rigid commitment to one right way of thinking or doing things inhibits the manager's flexibility. Inflexibility causes you to ignore or avoid listening to the thoughts and ideas of others. You only want to utilize hard data or facts. This lack of flexibility can limit any chance to follow "option B" or an alternative plan if your first decision or choice doesn't work out.

Analytical Positives

Despite its restrictions and problems, analytical decision-making does have several key strengths. By relying on facts and data, you minimize your potential for a wrong decision. You also get away from the habit of making guesses or following hunches. Database technology enables business leaders to look to hard evidence in analyzing target markets and promotional strategies as opposed to making assumptions or guesses on what works.