Phil Simon’sbookToo BIG to IGNORE: The Business Case for Big Data is another well written primer for Big Data in business. The focus is NOT the programmer’s dilemma of Hadoop vs. NoSQL vs NewSQL. Simon richly documents how Big Data has forever changed business and society. The core message of Too BIG to IGNORE: for the first time we have a very inexpensive ability to data mine a wealth of information. Organizations that tap into this new capability can execute their business more accurately than ever before. However Simon also acknowledges the obvious fact that companies must understand the format of their data while the leadership understands the benefits of pushing big data solutions throughout the organization.
Too BIG to IGNORE begins by telling about the success of MoneyBall by noted author Michael Lewis. Too Big to Ignore reveals how sports franchises exploit data to win on the field and for the worse how Las Vegas casinos have been using A/B testing to pinch every penny out of their best customers. Probably the best but sad example. Similar to the approach by other authors addressing Big Data the focus is on the explosion of data from Google, Facebook, Apple and Netflix as the smartphone and wireless technologies began to change society in ways that drive unstructured data well beyond traditional structured environments.
Simon walks through the history of big data from Web2.0 to Predictive Analytics and touches The Internet of Things. Simon address the tool Hadoop lightly enough as to not scare off any non-database programmer to understand how this free tool is used by Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Apple just to name a few successful highly profiled companies. The growth of Hadoop and the emerging role of Cloudera is addressed in greater detail for the non-technical audience.
Actionable Intelligence: A Guide to Delivering Business Results with Big Data Fast! falls into the must read category for leaders of any organization. Actionable Intelligence is in the Lean model well beyond the vanity metrics that so many leaders have embraced. Lessons on implementing a secure framework comes from lessons including Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble, Lifetime Brands and the CIA. Yes the CIA. Reading this book I have found tested lessons by Keith B. Carter regarding the lack of Actionable Intelligence in many organizations. The start always seems to be the lack of organized data and determining which is the most pressing to actually use in order to be successful in a fast changing world.
Maybe his most powerful work revolves around how executives at any company (or university) even question the value of actionable intelligence regardless of the tools already in place. Too many silo examples reinventing the wheel while overlooking the need to understand their own data reporting methods.
Sustaining delivery of actionable intelligence by the evolution from Dashboards to Cockpits. IMHO to many university leaders are just beginning to understand the Dashboard and their tools miss the Cockpit opportunities.
Business lessons alone describe how to mine actionable intelligence prove the validity of this book. Lessons from Estee Lauder include how the company was able to leverage secure data reporting in order to adjust following the powerful Japanese earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. And in some ways Carter points to a crisis in order for executives to embrace actionable intelligence:
People do not trust data, they trust other people and their opinion of the data. So when the data owners, the people who input the data and/or use it, raise their hands and say, “This data is good; I trust it,” that will make it more likely for other people in the organization to believe it. It also means that it’s clear. It’s not just that they trust it from the point that 1 + 1 = 2. It is also clear how the data has to be used, and the definition of the data is clear.
Carter helps breakdown the old data principle “People don’t trust data – they trust other people.” Its true. Estee Lauder’s use of actionable intelligence is such that every organization should be striving towards in order to stay competitive.
Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution is a remarkable book about the explosive relationship between Apple and Google as smartphones and tablets came to dominate the PC marketplace. This is a historical view of the final battle of Steve Job’s life and the work by Google to win over the digital battlefield from both Apple and Microsoft.
Dogfight is a smashing success in revealing how human technology companies really are today and the enormous demands they place upon their employees. They create the tools for our digital lifestyles and the means in which it drives new business models (and society) on a global scale. Its truly magnificent.
Since Dogfight is centered around the last days of Steve Jobs many readers may be intrigued to learn how he was personally making Apple vulnerable to Google’s Android by placing so much trust in Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Schmidt. Interesting lessons for us all.
The most interesting aspect for me was understanding the complex relationship between Google and Apple when Microsoft was in charge of the PC market. Clearly Microsoft missed the smartphone and tablet market and now may be forever a forgone player in that space. Even industry leaders are acknowledging that in the mobile space there are only two OS platforms to consider: iOS and Android. Amazing how Microsoft lost its way. Continue reading →
For all of the Big Data blogs, books and white papers that I have read Big Data by Bernard Marr is one of the better written books. Many will benefit from this knowledge.
Bernard Marr’s challenge continues to be what most senior managers do not understand about Big Data. And he does an admirable job in chapter six: Transforming Business. There are so many examples of how Big Data can actually re-define your objectives, but many are surrounded by a sales approach I recall from work Apple’s Michael Mace.
Michael was Director of Competitive Analysis at Apple and eloquently addressed FUD at a sales conference in the 90s. The same lessons apply today regarding Big Data. FUD is Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt. Continue reading →
This is especially true for those in aging markets like the auto industry and higher education.
Need, Speed, and Greed is divided into three sections: Why Innovation Matters, Where Innovation is Going, and How to win in the Age of Disruptive Innovation.
This is cover-to-cover reading for everyone. I really looked deeper at the closing chapter Can Dinosaurs Dance. While applied to the American auto industry, think about the strides made by Elon Musk and Google, the application of dramatic change fits quite nicely into many universities around the country. Continue reading →
Could not think of a more focused book title: When to Rob a Bank from the Freakonomics dynamic duo of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Looking forward to reading this book. I have never been disappointed in the research and economics of their stories. When to Rob a Bank marks the 10 year anniversary of their original bestseller Freakonomics.
From their legendary initial release Freakonomics and their follow-up bestseller Superfreakonomics to their book Think Like a Freak and even to their highly anticipated movie. When to Rob a Bank should be a very enjoyable read and an opportunity to review some of their most striking stories.
And I must admit after living in Chicago the segment of the Chicago mother looking to inspire her son was a story I felt many around Chicagoland could understand to some degree.
Their approach to telling stories on their blog over the last ten years led them to some amazing stories …. and some that totally missed the mark.