Analytics and Big Data – Press Pause on the Stairmaster

Our lives have become hectic.

We are working harder and longer. We talk about life balance, but for so many of us we continue to have imbalance. Every once in a while we need to step back, press the “pause” button on the Stairmaster exercise machine, take some deep breaths, and reflect on just what the heck is going on. I’d like to reflect with you my take on what is driving the accelerating interest in analytics and Big Data.

Do Less (or, Why Managers Should Stop Micromanaging and Trust Their Employees)

In looking at the great leaders of history—whether they are political leaders like Julius Caesar or business leaders like Steven P. Jobs—many people probably assume that they must have taken a particularly active role in running their organizations. Caesar, after all, personally led his troops into Gaul, and Jobs was famous for checking the design of even the smallest inner workings of every product at Apple.

“Most leaders do too much,” Murnighan says. “And when they do, they’re seen as micromanagers.”

The Creative Power of Thinking Outside Yourself

New research suggests we generate more creative ideas for other people than for ourselves.

The hackneyed expression “thinking outside the box” is thought to come “9 Dots” puzzle. The idea is to try and join up all the dots using four straight lines or fewer without taking your pen off the paper or tracing over the same line twice.

The ‘box’ that the expression refers to is the implicit one formed in your mind by the dots. To get the solution you have to ignore this implicit box: you have to, as it were, think outside it.

Is Your PO Process Costing You Precious Marketing Dollars?

Marketing regularly loses a portion of its budget to an insidious financial management process known as “Open PO Reconciliation.” It’s not unusual to see b-to-b organizations lose 5 percent or more of their budgets to the reconciliation monster. However, with just a bit more attention to detail and building a good relationship with the finance team, this money can be recovered and utilized.

Here’s what happens in many organizations: In order to purchase something, a marketer must first open a purchase order (PO). Essentially what then happens is that the marketer estimates the cost of the purchase and opens a PO in that amount. This causes funds to be committed and set aside. What could go wrong with that? Keep reading.

Rules for Assuring Poor Performance

In 1773 Benjamin Franklin, one of the USA’s founding fathers, wrote a pamphlet aimed at the royalty of England titled Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One. Satire is one way to get your point across. I apply my own style of satire here to appeal to organizations to cease their hesitation and skepticism and embrace the benefits of applying business analytics and enterprise performance management. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but sometimes there is truth in humor.

Boost Creativity: 7 Unusual Techniques

Everyone is creative: we can all innovate given time, freedom, autonomy, experience to draw on, perhaps a role model to emulate and the motivation to get on with it.

But there are times when even the most creative person gets bored, starts going round in circles, or hits a cul-de-sac. So here are 7 unusual creativity boosters that research has shown will increase creativity.

3 Good Reasons to Refresh Your Online Presence

Consider this: the online experiencenow encompasses mobile, cloud, big data, social networking, and gamification. You probably didn’t deal with any of that when you initially got online. Then consider the devices connecting today, 15 billion mobile devices alone expected by 2015, estimates Cisco, plus the usual array of laptops, netbooks, desktops, thin devices. And who is connecting: Hispanics spent 5.15 billion through mobile devices this past holiday shopping season, according to Zpryme, a research firm. Did you get much of that?

The Zeigarnik Effect

We’ve all heard the old adage “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Many of us put things off indefinitely, especially the most onerous tasks. But often we find that if we just start the task it gets easier to continue and, once we continue, we can finish.

I thought this was just being lazy. But, my 16 year old daughter told me, “No, it’s the Zeigarnik Effect.”