PR Myth of the Month: Business Pace Calls for Real-Time Analytics 

Mark Weiner

In “Myth of the Month,” Mark Weiner (right), CEO of PRIME Research LLP and a member of the PR News Advisory Board, challenges conventional wisdom and dispels some false assumptions about public relations.

Myth: Today’s accelerated pace of business requires “real-time” analytics to make serious PR decisions.

Truth: While certain crisis situations require almost instantaneous decision making, real-time analytics may be a case of too much/too fast, as an overabundance of instantaneous data can lead to confusion and decision-making paralysis. What is more, real-time analytics tools often rely on automated data analysis with little or none of the benefits of human expertise and understanding.

As such, automated systems frequently sacrifice accuracy and quality for speed. For serious strategic decision making, speed, accuracy and quality are required in equal measure. In many tactical instances, real-time analytics may provide sufficient inputs for course corrections, but in serious policy-level situations, strategic decision-making requires a more reliable and contextual foundation, which automated systems almost certainly do not provide.

In addition, a computer’s ability to deliver data in real time doesn’t necessarily translate into an executive’s ability to process data in real time as many of business’ most important decisions require a variety of inputs and thoughtful reflection. [Look for a comprehensive feature on the value of real-time data in a future issue of PR News .]

Send PR Myth of the Month ideas to svancamp@accessintel.com.