I watched a very interesting talk on TED yesterday by Pankaj Ghemawat called “Actually the world isn’t flat”. I would highly recommend it especially if you are working in the Business Intelligence field.
The argument in the talk is simple. We percieve our world as hyperconnected and globalized. We use devices ‘Designed in California Assembled in China’. We wear cloths made in India or Bangladesh. Our fruits and vegetables come from Africa. We bank with a Hong Kong based bank and we work in a country we were not born in. It does appear that everything is connected and that there is mass exodus from not-so-good places to better of places AKA immigration. However the actual numbers tell a different story. To quote an example from the talk, majority of french people thought the around 24% of the population are immigrants while the actual number is 8%. The external forces makes us exagarate the situation. Mr Ghemawat has collected a vast data sets which contradicts many of the popular belifs against what actual data suggests.
This can be correlated in busineses as well. Managers tend to make intutional decisions based on the experiance, however, the stats paint a different picture. The aim of business intelligence to fill this void. So that managers can make informed decisions based on facts rather than the gut feeling. Data always speaks the truth. I would also recommend book by Davenport called ‘Competing on Analytics’. The argument is same. Take a decision based on data, not on intuition. And this where business intelligence will come handy.