On A Smarter Planet … Some Organizations Will Be Smarter-er Than Others

March 6, 2010
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As planet Earth generates more data from more sensors and as this data comes together for better prediction … there will be plenty of winners and losers.

The losers will be those organizations still coping with information overload, unable to make heads or tails of what they know (Enterprise Amnesia).  They will miss the obvious.  Their costs will soar, their customer satisfaction will drop and confidence in their brand will erode.  You will get duplicate mailings from them.  They will try to sell you something you already bought from them weeks ago. 

The winners will be those organizations that make better decisions, faster How fast?  Fast enough to do something smart as the transaction is happening, not minutes, hours, or days later. 

The closer to real-time an organization can operate, the more competitive it will be (Enterprise Intelligence).  They will be more efficient in how they deliver their products or services, their customers will be happier, and they will be able to stop many more bad things (e.g., fraud) from happening before they happen.

Hence my

As planet Earth generates more data
from more sensors and as this data comes together for better prediction … there
will be plenty of winners and losers.

The losers will be those
organizations still coping with information overload, unable to make heads or
tails of what they know (Enterprise Amnesia).  They will miss the obvious.  Their costs will soar, their customer
satisfaction will drop and confidence in their brand will erode.  You will get duplicate mailings from
them.  They will try to sell
you something you already bought from them weeks ago. 

The winners will be those
organizations that make better decisions, faster How fast?  Fast enough to do something smart as the
transaction is happening, not minutes, hours, or days later. 

The closer to real-time an
organization can operate, the more competitive it will be (Enterprise Intelligence).  They will be more efficient in how
they deliver their products or services, their customers will be happier, and
they will be able to stop many more bad things (e.g., fraud) from happening before they
happen.

Hence
my ongoing obsession with real-time sensemaking systems and my beef with batch
systems. Just to be clear, not all batch systems are bad. 
 In fact, there are a number of
things batch systems are well-suited for, like end-of-month accounting cycles,
or end-of-night audit in hotel property management systems. 
 There are even some forms of
data mining, pattern discovery, outlier detection, and so on, where
after-the-fact data analysis (batch) is well suited.

That
said the closer to real-time one can get the right answer and respond, the
better.  
 And milliseconds matter.

Heck,
when a casino can loose $250,000 in 15 minutes, what good is an hourly
algorithm?

So
when the IBM marketing machine asked me what I was working on, I explained the
importance of real-time sensemaking this way: imagine trying to cross a street
but you can only see how the traffic looked 5 minutes ago. 
 This stuck a chord and is, as
of this week, a
 TV commercial:

Who’d a thunk?

Net
Net: Organizations not engaged in real-time sensemaking are going to find
themselves getting Dumb and Dumber.


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