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Business analytics is a big sham and over-rated!

Analysts probing rationally integrated limits for optimization opportunities lack smarts. That is, most analysts who think they are successfully solving problems are foolishly kidding themselves and are delusional.

Gary Cokins
Gary Cokins
Let’s be honest. This new fad about business analytics is getting wildly over-blown as if it is comparable to a miraculous drug that stops aging or is a proof of physics’ Grand Unified Theory that Albert Einstein went to his grave failing to produce. Today’s business analytics is like the snake oil that was pedaled by hucksters in the 1920s. Using analytics gives false hope that it can improve an organization, solve problems, or exploit opportunities. It is dubious that analytics improve or solve anything.

And who are the hucksters spreading this sham? Of course, it is the consultants and software vendors. Don’t be conned by them.

All this interest in statistics, operations research, analytics, and optimization is someone’s pipe dream. It is this decade’s quackery. The interest in analytics will pass and fade away like any fad. Remember the pet rock? The advocates and followers of analytics are like a zealous cult. Be wary of them and their fraudulent ideas. Don’t believe their calculations – especially their so-called “predictive analytics.” You’d do better knowing the future with a crystal ball or ouija board.

Business intelligence – the big joke

And what is the big deal with business intelligence, the so-called BI? Anyone who uses the words “business” and “intelligence” in the same sentence is naïve and foolish. Operating a business does not require being intelligent. Managing a business is all about power. The best business managers hound their employees to squeeze results from them, and they crush their competitors with force.

Business intelligence has little to do with successful decision making.

Analysts waste every ones’ time

An additional exaggeration is the importance of analysts in an organization. Analysts are simply aimless number crunchers who perpetually spin their wheels with nothing to really show for their wasted efforts. The best decisions come from leaders who have a gift and a sixth sense to just know the right things to do. The best culture for any successful organization is to operate in a “no facts” zone.

Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris wrote a book title Competing on Analytics. It is drivel. Don’t waste your time reading it. Companies compete by having more money. Those with more money win, and those with less lose.

And if you believe what I have written here, read the first letter of each word in the first sentence of this blog. You will see that together they spell A-p-r-i-l f-o-o-l-s!

Gary Cokins, CPIM
(; phone: 919-531-2012)

Gary Cokins (Cornell University BS IE/OR, 1971; Northwestern University Kellogg MBA 1974) is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in advanced cost management and enterprise performance and risk management systems. He is a Principal in business consulting involved with analytics-based enterprise performance management solutions with SAS, a global leader in business intelligence and analytics software. He began his career in industry with a Fortune 100 company in CFO and operations roles. He then worked 15 years in consulting with Deloitte, KPMG, and EDS. His two most recent books are Performance Management: Finding the Missing Pieces to Close the Intelligence Gap (ISBN 0-471-57690-5) and Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics (ISBN 978-0-470-44998-1). Mr. Cokins can be contacted at gary.
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Jeudi 5 Avril 2012