Riddle: How are Analytics Like a Mosquito in a Nudist Colony?

There are so many opportunities to apply analytics today- it’s like being a mosquito in a nudist colony.

There is a problem, however, that not everyone thinks or behaves like a mosquito. They do not always inherently sense opportunities – the opportunities to apply analytics.

Perhaps I stretch this mosquito analogy too far when I presume that many opportunities may have insect repellent applied to them. For example, let’s consider the high expectations of service at a five star hotel. Ever wait in a long line at your hotel check out during the morning rush with others checking out? It might not appear cost-justified to the hotel, but it may be a very valuable extra expense to add one or more front desk staff if you irritate an important and delayed social media influencer who will complain on Twitter or TripAdvisor.com. How would you know? It is an opportunity for an analyst’s experiment or survey. The insect repellant analogy implies that an analyst may not “sense” an opportunity.

Game On! A TV Game Show for IT and Analysts?

Imagine a game show featuring three competing teams of contestants who are given a business problem involving choices. They get one week to design and test their hypotheses through experiments and return to the show with their answers. A panel of CEOs would judge the winning team.

Why not provide analysts, and the important role they perform, more visibility to the public? Make it fun. The popular TV show “The Big Bang Theory” highlights physicists. So why not have a TV game show for analysts and IT specialists to show off their investigative and discovery skills? We might call it “The Big Data Theory!”

Numbers Speak for Themselves, But Who’s Listening?

The NBA professional scouts saw little in (Harvard University graduate and NBA star Jeremy) Lin. But a FedEx delivery truck driver, Ed Weiland, was paying attention. Weiland was a contributor to the website HoopsAnalyst.com blog.

Weiland predicted that Lin would be an exceptional talent based on the combination of two statistics: two-point field goal percentage and RSB40. The first stat is obvious, but the second completed the picture about Lin. RSB40 is a combination statistic measuring rebounds, steals and blocked shots (the RSB) per 40 minutes. Lin’s high index for these two stats revealed his dominance at both ends of the basketball court. Weiland’s prediction was initially ignored. Now he appears to be clairvoyant.

Who knew? Was it Ed Weiland? Or were the numbers already there, and Ed Weiland was listening?

Frustrations of a Mover and Shaker for Managerial Accounting

Many who just read “managerial accounting” in this blog’s title are not bothering to read this. Why? They do not care. They only care about external financial reporting for regulatory agencies, bankers, and investors. This frustrates me because I interpret this as their not caring about managers and employees who need better internal managerial accounting information for insights and foresight to make better decisions compared to what they are currently provided by their CFO’s function.

The CFO’s Expanding Role – Reality or Delusion?

“Modern financial executives are moving toward a more central and expanded role as stewards of the company’s longevity, using the finance function to enable growth, especially in new markets and in response to market changes. For those who are ready for change, the new finance is an exciting and rewarding way to help shape a more intelligent enterprise that is better connected to the market and its customers.

To be a devil’s advocate, what proof do we have that Gianni’s observation is true?

Analytics Blogger – Journalist or Personal Diary?

There are several bloggers like me who write about the topics of analytics and enterprise risk and performance management (ERM / EPM). What are our writing styles?

Some do a deep dive into the details of equations and algorithms of analytics or of the various methodologies like strategic balanced scorecards and customer profitability analysis. Some write about current news such as happenings with Facebook, Apple, or other companies. Some write help advice articles with tips on how to be more effective and successful applying these techniques.

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.

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.

Tried and True. One and Done. Learning From Failures.

One of the frustrations I experience is when managers or analysts share with me that their organizations tried to implement progressive management methods, and they either failed or abandoned them. A prominent example is an unsuccessful attempt to implement activity-based costing to measure and manage costs and profit levels of products, services, channels and customers. Other enterprise performance management examples include risk management, customer analytics, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the balanced scorecard.

What causes these failures or the quick loss of interest?