Tag Archives: artificial intelligence

You need to discover fire before you can launch a rocket!

I was recently in Germany attending the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Frankfurt. I had a chance to meet many clients and prospects who are struggling to get their analytics projects off the ground. Every client wants a moon shot – to leapfrog immediately to space flight without having even discovered the wheel.

I also had the opportunity to meet with an amazing thought leader in analytics, Alexander Thamm and we discussed this topic in depth.

Alex Thamm, the CEO of Alexander Thamm GmbH has helped some of the leading companies in Germany achieve amazing results with analytics. In our discussion, Alex shared what he is seeing: organizations want the nirvana promised by AI and Cognitive technologies. The challenge with many of these organizations is that they do not even have the basics down. A recent HBR article backs this view up. Many organizations either do not understand, don’t appreciate or even worse, are in denial of what is really needed to be successful to move up the analytics curve.

So, as I sat there at Alex’s headquarters in Munich, Germany I thought about an analogy I have shared multiple times because I have too frequently experienced vendors pitching the magic of artificial intelligence and analytics only to see a deer the headlights type of gaze.

So I shared the following analogy with Alex to see if this is what he is also seeing.

Explaining artificial intelligence and advanced analytics is like explaining the space shuttle launch to cave men. First you start a fire. Once the fire is going and strong enough you need to get yourself a tin can. You take that tin can and fill it with some type of combustible fuel and set it on top of the fire. Enough pressure will build up and send the tin can into the sky. The tin can will go around the earth. Voila! You have space travel. The cave men tend to sit there completely astonished…..amazed really. After overcoming their initial amazement….they eventually say: “Wow, that is absolutely amazing!!!!! Incredible! So, how did you get the fire??

Alex’s reaction was clear. This is what he is seeing too. He like the analogy so much he recommended I share it as a blog post.

I am not saying that most organizations are filled with cave men. I AM saying that we as vendors owe it to our clients to help the progress along the analytics curve. If we are truly dedicated to our clients’ success, sometimes we need to have the tough conversation with the client – Yes, I understand you want to have artificial intelligence across your organization (moon shot). I recommend you start with getting your data collection and management processes (fire) down first and then we can build up to your moon shot.


4 ways your analytics can deceive you

This is post 1 of a 3 part series to help dispel the myth that fast and agile analytics are always better. 


How do youNugget  zero in on the right information to make the best decisions with all the technology, data, and new analytics techniques available to you today?
How do you find opportunities or identify problems before anyone else?

We have entered the age of “Required Knowledge”. With all the data available to us – internally and externally – employees and executives are expected to know.cost of not knowing.png There is a “cost of not knowing” and getting caught not knowing could lead to sensational news headlines accompanied by loss of shareholder value, loss of customers, and even industry fines.

So how do you find opportunities or identify problems before anyone else? How do you avoid getting caught not knowing something you should and also open the opportunity to make better data-driven decisions and find opportunities for competitive advantage? We went to work studying market trends and interviewing hundreds of customers and reviewing thousands of projects and the common theme we have been hearing is all around “Smarts”.

When you look at business results, it will naturally lead to questions about why certain things are happening. It’s how you answer those questions that determine your level of competitive advantage. Companies that apply “Smarts” to those questions are relying on cognitive services, machine learning, optimization and pattern-based planning to drive sounder decision and identify trends before they could even know which questions to ask…….

To be continued……. 4 questions to ask yourself!

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