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Of Oscars, Avatar and Analytics
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cognos ibm_cognos_8_mashup_servi... analytics scenario_modeling
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James Cameron: Director. Screenwriter. Self-proclaimed “King of the World.”
And now...business prof?
Let me explain.
By most accounts, Avatar, Cameron's now two-billion-dollar, three-dimensional space fantasy 15 years in the making, will take home the Na'vi's share of statuettes, including Best Picture. I suspect many film fans will lament this. Yes, the dialogue was conventional, the story formulaic and the performances rote.
But there's an upside in all this obviousness. And a lesson in analytics: whether you're an Academy member evaluating a screenplay or a sales manager hunting for new markets, a different dynamic takes over when the answer to all the big questions is obvious. Suddenly, people start paying a lot more attention to life on the margins. Suddenly, incremental differences in performance and results come under a lot more scrutiny. Decisions that may have been routine are suddenly questioned.
In Hollywood, an Academy member who may not have looked too hard into the relative merits of one scene over another in a nominated screenplay may be tempted to have a second look. Another, who had made up her mind about the best cinematography, may choose to question her logic - and by extension, her conclusions.
In your own role, your manager may have a few more questions about your marketing spend or sales forecasts. In response, you may need to change the context you're using to define your results. Or you may need to test your readiness to respond to a sudden change.
Results - whether on the screen or on the balance sheet - stem directly from the decisions we make. From the Director or the CEO on down, we're all responsible for making the best decisions we can. Whether we're shooting for Oscar glory or this month's sales targets, it's incumbent on us to pursue every source of value, every opportunity for growth. This means we need the best information to continually scrutinize our results and challenge our assumptions. Only then can we make the best decisions.
For moviemakers, doing so makes the difference between Oscar glory and also-ran status. For your business, there's considerably more at stake.
Want to get started? Check out IBM Cognos 8 Mashup Service and IBM Cognos TM1 for more.