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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Intelligence and Analysis

Had a chance to attend an industry analysts’ working group. Stars from competing companies met in a special forum to get a better picture of where their profession is going.

First symptom is the explosion of casual data. Their customers see it all around them and want to know how it relates to the professional information they are buying. The short answer is, it doesn’t.

Data is not analysis. Analysis is verifying accuracy and providing context. Figuring out what to ignore is an important part of professional analysis.

But analysts are getting overwhelmed with random data, and anything a customer finds is more valuable to that customer than a professionally curated product.

One analyst tore a small corner off a sugar packet and dropped in the middle of a 16 by 6 foot conference table. “This table is what is publicly available, and this scrap of paper is what our processes allow us to analyze.”

One further comment was that scrap of paper should be cut into pieces representing the processes of the competing organizations.

Customers want their scraps validated, but they sure don’t want to do the work of validation. That’s what they are paying for, usually on a carefully predefined cost basis. ...and other duties as assigned is now desired in that same price. Open source scope creep.
So a first solution is to loosen the vetting procedure to allow significantly more throughput, perhaps using casual data in that process in some way.

A couple of days after the meeting, I remembered the the story of J. P. Morgan’s guidelines for purchasing services, “I don’t want a lawyer who tells me what I can’t do. I hire a lawyer to tell me how I can do what I want to do! ”

Perhaps a solution is bringing the customer behind the curtain, to better understand what they are buying and why.

Tips 4 The Big Chair – Perspective 2.0
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