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We Live in a Data-Driven World — Here's a Case For Listening to Your Gut Instead Honing and trusting one's intuition can lead to quicker, more effective decision-making. Here's how to harness the power of listening to your gut to make the best choices.

By Aytekin Tank Edited by Kara McIntyre

Key Takeaways

  • Identify the scope of your data.
  • Consider your expertise.
  • Apply mental models — until you can't.
  • Pare down your daily decisions.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fresh or frozen? That was the million dollar question facing restaurateur Danny Meyer following a searing New York Times review. The local rag had torn into Meyer's slowly growing Shake Shack empire — then about 30 restaurants — for serving frozen french fries. Pride wounded, Meyer quickly switched to fresh fries without thoroughly researching the alternative. If he had, he may have discovered that fresh fries have to be fried three separate times, and the taste and quality are inconsistent. A year later, the burger chain converted back to frozen.

The takeaway? Meyer should have listened to his gut. Despite the review, high-quality frozen fries were working for customers. You know the adage: If it's not broken, don't fix it. And second, Meyer could have dug more into the data and researched the proposed business change. He may have realized that it wasn't worth switching to fresh — that his intuition had been right all along. It's a prime example of why leaders should pay heed to data and their gut.

In recent years, there's been a big push toward data-driven decision-making. Author and Wharton professor Adam Grant told the Washington Post:

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