Here are a couple of very interesting articles that touch on making decisions using your "gut" - intuition or relying on data.
Gary Wolf in The Data-Driven Life, (NY Times) writes about people who obsessively collect data about themselves and use it to make data-driven decisions
Barooah wasn't about to try to answer a question like this with guesswork. He had a good data set that showed how many minutes he spent each day in focused work. With this, he could do an objective analysis. Barooah made a chart with dates on the bottom and his work time along the side. Running down the middle was a big black line labeled "Stopped drinking coffee." On the left side of the line, low spikes and narrow columns. On the right side, high spikes and thick columns. The data had delivered their verdict, and coffee lost.
Michael Schrage, in Tell Your Gut to Please Shut Up, (Harvard Business Review, May 2010) writes about how overrated is trusting your gut.
My impatience with this intestinal mindset - or should I say "gutset"? - comes from an unfortunate surge of celebratory posts I've recently read and meetings I've attended. Leaders and managers are encouraged and exhorted to rely more on their intuition and judgment. Everyone knows that "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." Ha ha ha. But where does bad judgment come from? My answer - and the replicable answer from Nobel Prize winning research: Trusting gut instincts and feelings.