2014 Latest Trends in Analytics

At last month’s UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference, Hans Loekkegaard of Red Commerce interviewed me on the latest and greatest trends in analytics. The full video is below – we had an good-natured chat covering roughly these topics: Where does the term “evangelist” come from? What is the biggest trend in analytics today? Where are organizations in…

Your Customer Experience, and That Yellowed-Linoleum Look

Have you had the experience of walking into a new store or restaurant on opening day? All bright and shiny, entirely overstaffed with smiling faces tripping over each other to help you. Or the grand opening of a grocery store, with the aisles all clean, the lighting bright, all the lanes open. Then you come back in a year or two or five – the linoleum is stained and yellowed, the ceiling tiles streaked with smoke and grease, doors are broken, light bulbs burnt out, signs are crooked, there are only two lanes open, staffed by clerks who are too busy to acknowledge you, and the portions are smaller.

What happened?

It’s not just that the cost accountants moved in - something fundamental and special has been lost, and no one seems to have taken notice.


The SWOT analysis is one of the more useful of management tools when aggressively pursued. But too often it turns into an inauthentic exercise done merely for its own sake, completed by teams that go through the motions instead of taking its strategic implications seriously. We have all likely participated in dozens if not hundreds of SWOTs, some for our own departments and others in review of various enterprise-wide business functions and product lines, and we’ve seen a variety of approaches and attitudes over the years. Let’s break it down into some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the SWOT exercise.

Millennials’ Lack of Analytical Acumen Could Hurt You

As big data buzzes louder and louder in the business world, I grow more and more worried. Numbers aren’t my thing. I’m guilty of using my fingers to add, my cellphone’s calculator to multiply and squinting when subtracting in my head. I hope you’d agree that I’m better with words.

Because of my own experience, when I came across research from the American Management Association, or AMA, that stated millennials have the least analytical acumen among all generations in the workforce, I wasn’t surprised. First, we have the least experience, and with experience comes acumen. Second, we already know the U.S. needs to develop a stronger workforce of experts in science, technology, engineering and math, so what’s the news?

Happy 100th Birthday, Ford Assembly Line!

When Henry Ford began making cars in the early 1900s, “state-of-the-art” manufacturing meant car bodies delivered by horse-drawn carriage, with teams of workers assembling automobiles atop sawhorses. The teams would rotate from one station to another, doing their part to bring the vehicle together. Parts deliveries were timed, but often ran late causing pile-ups of workers vying for space and delays in production. Fortunately for the future of industry, these archaic practices came to an end Oct. 7, 1913. …

9 Steps for Launching Your BPM Program Successfully

Any process development program is a phased program. The first important phase is the launch. You need a plan in which the organization describes how it will roll out the Business Process Management initiative, selects processes for development and trains the people to lead the actual implementation.
Your plan for a successful BPM deployment should include, but is not limited to the following nine steps:

Should Restaurants Eliminate Tips?

How do you feel about tipping? Are you happy to reward a well-done job or do you have more of a Mr. Pink attitude toward gratuities?

A pair of recent Slate articles got me thinking about tipping. The first is pretty straightforward and makes the case that tipping at restaurants should just be banned (Tipping Is an Abomination, Jul 9). The argument is that the practice is bad for customers since it leads to uneven treatment and bad for workers since it allows employers to pay absurdly low wages. But what happens when a restaurant simply eliminates tipping? That is the topic of the second article written by a former restauranteur who did just that (What Happens When You Abolish Tipping, Aug 14). In lieu of tipping, the restaurant added an 18% service charge to the check. Thus it pricing was more like an auto service station that breaks out its labor charges from the cost of parts.