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Rethinking Business Intelligence: Information or Decisions

Traditional business intelligence leaves executives with the same amount of work, but with even more information to sort through. The number of decisions, the unit of work, is not diminished.

Traditional Business Intelligence asks, “What information do you need to make better decisions?” The outcome is hopefully beautiful well designed reports and dashboard that support decisions.  The problem is that you still have to make decisions.

Decisions are work.  Having more information doesn’t reduce the amount of work required to make decisions. In fact, it makes decisions more work.  More information does not create less work.

The flaw is thinking that the business decisions are calculations.  Calculations have right answers, and having more information makes the right answers obvious.  Most business decisions don’t have “right” answers.

If most business decisions were calculations, traditional business intelligence would be very helpful.  However, most business decisions are not calculations.  Instead most business decisions are judgments. You have to make a decision, but there is no “right” answer.  In fact, with most judgements you will never know for certain that you made the right decision. Judgments require more than data. They require experience and intuition.

Understanding this, we ask a different questions. We ask what decisions do you need to make. We want to know what work you have to do. Using predictive analytics and data science we are able to create an engine that generates decisions. Instead of making decisions, your job becomes verifying that the predictive model is making the right decision.  Instead of time spent researching, you get to spend time executing.

Because CAN doesn’t treat decisions as calculations, our predictive models are able to capture the reality that decisions are judgements. No amount of information will make the “right” decision obvious. Data is not enough. Intuition and experience are required.  We use this assumption when building our models.

We work with our clients to mathematically capture that “je ne sais quoi”,the something that cannot be adequately described. The entire process of working with our clients is designed to capture their experience and intuition.  All of our models are tested based on data, math, and our clients’ real world experience.

You can now run a company where everyone at the company has a decision engine.  They are able to build on the experience, knowledge, and intuition of the company’s top performers and most experienced executives.  Your best people are able to help everyone in your company make the “right” decision.  Then instead of repeating the past, they can build a better future.


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