Moneyball author Michael Lewis and Moneyball pioneer Billy Beane closed out Information On Demand 2011 in a rollicking conversation with event host Katty Kay. Among the topics were challenging a century-old business culture with business analytics, the risks of standing still and why it's never a good idea to mess with Billy Beane's mom. Turbo's already done a great summary, so I've distilled their conversation into a few key quotes.
On the meaning of Moneyball: 'This was riveting to me. The number crunching was less interesting than what it exposed about the markets people operate in. The people running baseball considered themselves player experts because they'd been doing things the same way for 150 years. And here was Beane recruiting people the market perceived as defective. He was building a juggernaut out of defective parts.'
On bias: 'People tend to overvalue things that are flashy and easy to see. And they tend to undervalue things that are more difficult to see. You need to understand the forces that are clouding your judgement.'
On Beane and his players: 'He had tremendous credibility with the players because he was a great athlete. Being bigger than them also helped. The players were physically intimidated. It was kind of the law of the jungle in the clubhouse – reason imposed by violence.'
On offending Beane's mother because he left in Beane's profanity: 'She said, 'My son doesn't talk like that.' After the book signing I invited her to a two-hour dinner. It was the most awkward conversation I've ever had. I laid on as much charm as I could and got nowhere. She was just as angry with me at the end as at the beginning.'
On the need for change: 'For us it was out of necessity. Where were we going to get the best return on our dollar? We weren't in a position to trust emotion to run our business. We couldn't invest in the romance of the players. We had to be disciplined card counters.'
On taking risks: 'We didn't think it was risky because the math told us we'd be successful. Over enough games we knew we'd weed out the randomness. There was certainly resistance, but there was more risk in not doing it. Going with our gut would have been the most irrational thing to do.'
On Lewis revealing the secret: 'You could see the market was going move. It was just a matter of time. There was already momentum – you could feel the rumblings. You couldn't ignore the fact that the data was everywhere. The secret now is to keep your expertise in-house.'
On outcomes: 'I believe the best teams make it to the playoffs, but the best team doesn't always win the World Series. Small events in a short series can have a bigger impact; we never try to make decisions based on short-term results.'
On being played by Brad Pitt: 'You tend to hold your breath while they're casting the film. When you hear it's Brat Pitt, you exhale.'
1. Before saving the websheet, make sure Excel calculation mode is set to ‘Manual’.
2. Delete all Rows and Columns beyond the last used cell before saving. Excel does not do a good job in cleaning up and there is no point having web render more than it needs to. Use Excel’s Go To Last Cell feature to find the last used cell. If the Last Cell includes empty rows and columns, delete the unused ones.
3. Use the subsets in the view when creating the Activeform, especially on the rows. This will eliminate the need for Active Form to insert a hidden sheet with the element names.
4. Delete any Named references with #Ref in them, do an Excel find to see if there are any #Ref in cell formula, check for external links and change/delete
5. Keep SUBNM formula to a minimum
6. Dynamic subsets puts a lock on the cubes which the dimension is part of. Use MDX instead.
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It is recommended to test the content of the site in the lab, before making use in the production environment & use it completely on your risk.
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T-minus eight hours before I'm off to the Mandalay Bay, so I'll make this one short and sweet.
One thing to watch
We've just released a great new video called 'From Information to Analytics: The IBM Story.' It outlines our history in helping you wrangle and make sense of your increasingly messy landscape of data and features most of the IBM Software Executives you'll see on-stage next week.
Two things to read
The first our research report, 'Analytics: The new path to value' produced by our Institute for Business Value in partnership with the MIT Sloan Management Review. Its findings propose solutions to the different pieces of your information-and-analytics value
puzzle, based on surveys of nearly 3,000
executives, managers and analysts working across more than 30
industries and 100 countries.
Believe it or not, I always need to remind myself of these every time I go somewhere:
Business cards: E-introductions are handy, but until everyone has the 'Bump' app on their iPhone (and everyone has an iPhone) these little gems still have a lot of currency.
Comfortable shoes: It's a long walk from the Mandalay to the EXPO and you'll spend more time on your feet between those two destinations.
Memory sticks: Much like business cards, these little miracles are essential until we're all comfortable sharing info in the cloud.
I'll be spending a lot of time between sessions in our 'Share' and 'Connect' social spaces and would love to meet you if you have the time. If you're heading down, safe travels to all, and I'll see you in the twitter stream (remember to use #iod11 or #ibmsoftware).
Back in the '80s,The Frantics were Canada's answer to Monty Python. One of their recurring bits involved Paul Chato (the geeky one) inventing a new video game. Like Kramer on Seinfeld, he'd burst into the room unannounced and shout, 'Hey guys, it's ready!' Upon hearing the news, the other guys would excitedly jump around the room in a stop-motion homage to 'Neighbors,' the famous 1952 NFB short film by Norman McLaren.
For you, the SMA makes it easier than ever to share in the excitement of Information On Demand. It pulls in conference
tweets, blog posts and photos and presents them on a single page. So, if you're using any or all of the
conference tags: #iod11, #baforum, #imforum or #IBMECM, they'll show up here. The SMA
will also provide live streaming video of the morning general sessions, plus executive keynotes and interviews from the EXPO floor courtesy of Scott and Todd.
Because The Frantics were popular in the 80s, Paul's games looked like the ones you played on your Atari 2600. Because this is 2011, the IOD SMA looks a little better:
Smarter Software means smarter aggregators
What's more, the SMA scans all that content to build real-time tag clouds of trending topics and highlights the conversation leaders who are tweeting and blogging up a storm. Last year, that honor went to raving IBM Cognos 10 fan Cedric deVroey. The last time I checked this year, there was quite the duel shaping up between Christoph Papenfuss and Fraser Anderson. Now that the SMA is out there for the world to enjoy, no doubt we'll see perspectives from outside the firewall in there as well.
The SMA pulls in Tweets automatically, but if you plan on blogging you'll need to create an IBM profile or use the one you already have. From there it's simply a matter of copying and pasting a few feeds. Add any of the tags above in the body of your blog post and it will be picked up automatically to be shared with an audience of thousands. The added bonus of registering is that once you've created your profile you can contribute to any aggregator in the IBM universe.
IOD is is the biggest conference in the IBM software galaxy. Last year more than 10,000 said 'Viva Las Vegas' (a new record) and this year we're expecting even more. With that many people and that much technology coming into contact with each other I foresee no shortage of opinions, insights and - because this is Vegas - maybe the odd joke or two. So, I'll be keeping a close eye on the aggregator throughout the conference to highlight the trending topics, congratulate the conversation leaders and maybe - just maybe - throw in a poll or two.
The buzz is brewing for IOD11 and the SMA is your best place to participate and take it all in. Why not get started now?
The end-of-day update
I couldn't find the Frantics clip in question, so instead I can offer this cool animation. It was also made by Norman McLaren, who could make numbers dance as well as people. Enjoy!
A new Analytics Center of Excellence Community has been launched on analyticszone.com - where you can download the free book "5 Keys to Business Analytics Program Success". Join the conversation today at www.analyticszone.com
Wanted to write something, so chose to write something about Cognos BI, I am new to blogging so please be considerate if you fell the content is not great enough to read or something. These are something basic about Cognos BI Reports.
IBM Cognos is the world leader in business intelligence (BI) and performance management software for the enterprise. Cognos BI provides the capability to distribute reports and dashboards with personalized content for each recipient from a single report
nDistribute reports on-demand or based on a time or calendar-based schedule, events or an external trigger
nSchedule simultaneous or sequential batch reporting jobs for multiple output formats, destinations, and views
nSupports industry standard security authentication sources and data and communication protocols and encryption standards
nCognos 8 has a scalable, multi-tiered architecture:
Single API lets programmers customize , expose, or hide any BI capability using any programming language, e.g. Java, MS .Net, C, C+.
Whoever said, “you can’t take it with you” definitely wasn’t thinking of IBM Cognos Mobile. IBM Cognos Mobile offers the same simple, easy-to-consume, reliable and secure capability of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence with the equally powerful and visual on- and off-line experience. Yes, users can view, analyze and share reports from anywhere just like they can with IBM Cognos BI only now it’s on a mobile device. Whether you’re traveling, in a meeting, away from your computer, or at home these actionable reports go with you and your device of choice which allows you to seamlessly view and interact with any report or dashboard, while providing capability for deeper analysis and much more—anywhere you happen to be. So, you can take it with you.
Sidebar: In 1936, when George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart wrote the play, You Can’t Take It With You, they had a totally different concept in mind than mobile reports. Regarding this play, which, by the way, was subsequently turned into a major motion picture of equal caliber to the play, I can only offer this simple advice: See the movie. Yes, it’s old and in black-and-white which might be a turnoff for some of you. But, still, the writing holds up so well you won’t even notice anything but yourself laughing throughout. It’s a winner. Trust me if you can. If that’s not enough the play won a Pulitzer Prize and the movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Pretty good endorsements there.
Okay. Back to IBM Cognos Mobile.
Another thing about IBM Cognos Mobile. Check out the location-aware technology too. It’s one of the nicest features of IBM Cognos Mobile. Imagine the possibilities with this feature as it allows you to quickly get access to the most relevant data points based on your specific location without having to search for it. It automatically brings up the location-specific information based on your physical position. Very cool. Think that if you’re in Seattle, Washington meeting with a key customer and they want to know about other customers in the area you have that ready for them. Simple. Pull up your global customer report which will quickly filter it down to only show you the local accounts. Not bad. That’s just one simple scenario and there are tons of others being utilized by IBM Cognos customers right now.
Of course, a lot of the same features you get with IBM Cognos BI you also get with IBM Cognos Mobile including Drill up and drill down, drill through, zoom in and out, and cell highlights not to mention search capability.
There are many other features to IBM Cognos Mobile but I’ll leave the demo to show you all of that. Check it out. It’s only about a minute and worth giving it a look.
I often get asked about the importance of having your data in excellent shape - accurate, complete, relevant, etc - before you start using BI. The conventional wisdom, usually in IT, is that the data has to be right or the users will not trust it. Of course, that's true - to a point. The success of any reports, dashboards, scorecards or analytics often rests on the quality and trust people have in the data they see through that BI content. But the reality is that the data is never perfect. The "single version of the truth" (something I question as a goal but that's another day) is a journey that will never be reached 100%. So waiting until the data is completely trustworthy before rolling out BI is a folly that, in fact, will slow down the realization and need for data quality to be addressed where it needs to be addressed - in the business.
The truth is that data quality is often improved because of BI. While the first reaction might be to "blame the messenger" - the reports or tools that were used - the reality is that exposing data quality issues and discussing how to address them is essential to establishing the sense of ownership in the business and the subsequent need for governance programs that will continually improve the quality over time.
To be clear, we cannot build BI on top of truly bad data and expect that to be acceptable. Our data warehouses and data marts must meet a sufficient level of quality to make the use of that data valuable and meaningful. But don't let the quest for "the best" prevent us from starting our journey towards "the better".
Which means we need to move to both a information governance mandate and a BI governance (e.g. BICC) mandate that work in concert and alignment with each other. And that means that our information management strategy and our BI strategy have to be viewed together. Each depends on the other.
And yet too often companies are more focused on one or the other. Some companies start headlong into a BI strategy without any real consideration of the information management strategy that goes with it. The result is a truly failed BI initiative that will struggle to regain credibility. And there are probably just as many companies who invest a tremendous effort on data warehouse design and development, MDM, and data governance with little attention to how the business can effectively use all that data with BI.
So which comes first - the need for information governance and information strategy or the need for BI governance and BI strategy? Chicken or egg?
1. If you write a book about analytics, they’ll make a movie about you. It may even star Brad Pitt: For the second year in a row, the event’s keynote speakers are co-authors of a famous book about analytics. Last year, the unlikely duo of “Dubner and Levitt” recounted their insights from the world of Freakonomics. Hollywood made that book into a documentary. This year, IOD welcomes Billy Beane and Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame. Beane, you may recall, was the general manager of the perennially cash-strapped Oakland A’s baseball team who found a new (and controversial) way to win by analyzing player statistics that other teams both overlooked and undervalued. A bestselling author, Lewis transforms a discussion about sports stats into an exploration of the nature of talent and how to identify it to maintain your competitive edge. Hollywood made Moneyball into a movie, too. Here's the preview:
3. There are precisely 46 days left to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount: Actually, it’s less than that. Take away the 12 weekend days when you’re unlikely to be at your desk, there are in fact 34 days. Of course, you can register after Aug. 31, but why pay more? Click here for registration info.
4. You can save another $100 off your registration with a single tweet: Yes, it is just that simple. Follow @IODGC2011 and tweet with the hashtag #IOD11 and we’ll send you a code through direct Twitter message (That is, if you’re OK with us following you as well).
5. You can get IBM-certified for free: Take up to three IBM software certification exams at no charge and take as many more as you’d like at half-price. You’ll save $100 per exam and come home with certificates suitable for framing.
6. Information On Demand boasts IBM’s largest EXPO. Explore more than 300 exhibitors, meet with IBM experts and see hands-on demonstrations to see what’s possible with our software, get answers to your toughest questions and try the latest products that until now you’ve only heard about. There's lots more about the EXPO here.
7. It’s not just for Business Analytics:Information on Demand 2011 is also home to Information Management and Enterprise Content Management Forums, with in-depth introductions to IBM solutions for data management, enterprise content management, information integration, master data management and data warehousing. These capabilities are fundamental to successful analytics deployment, so be sure to attend some of their breakout sessions or demo peds as well.
8. It’s even better when you bring your team: Attend with your colleagues to maximize your learning and professional networks. Divide and conquer when you can’t decide between sessions. See more of the EXPO and get more of your team excited about what’s possible with IBM solutions. Collaborate on alibis if necessary. Plus, sign up six of your colleagues and the seventh conference pass is on us! Contact the IOD 2011 Event Team for more information on our company pass discounts.
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