Food Lion Exec Describes “Bootstrap” Analytics


At a “Competing on Business Analytics” event sponsored by SAS and Accenture in Chicago this week, Mike Haaf, former Food Lion SVP of Sales, Marketing, and Business Strategy, described a broad and successful program of analytical marketing and operations at the Carolina-based grocery retailer. When Haaf arrived at the company in 2003, its performance was [...]

Cognitive Bias in Strategic Decisions

business people meeting

The McKinsey Quarterly (free registration required) offers up an interesting on-line piece examining bias and the effects it can have on strategic decision making. According to the post: “In a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey of 2,207 executives, only 28 percent said that the quality of strategic decisions in their companies was generally good, 60 percent [...]

Remaking a City Through Data-driven Decisions

Detroit sign

Detroit has had a rough few years: its principal industry, automobiles, has been shrinking and two of its principal players almost disappeared.  Housing prices collapsed (two artists created “Ice House Detroit” to dramatize foreclosures there and elsewhere) and the population plummeting. Now the mayor, working with a group known as Data-Driven Detroit (D3), is planning [...]

Defending Your Data

Cop gun

One of the most celebrated instances of data driving decisions at the front lines is CompStat: the effort led by then-New York City Police Chief William Bratton to put police resources where there was the most crime. He did that by instituting extensive analysis of crime statistics (CompStat is short for Computer Statistics) and holding [...]

Intuition vs. Evidence-based Decisions

silverback gorilla

Ah, it is as old as the chicken-and-egg debate: when is intuition your best guide and when should data drive your decisions? Enterprise 2.0 guru and Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management Andrew McAfee recently weighed in recently on the Harvard Business Review blog: “Human intuition can be astonishingly good, especially after [...]

Analytics — The Big Idea for 2010?


The Financial Times has opined on three big management ideas for improving your performance in 2010. At the top of that list is analytics: “In 2010, it will be time to get serious about managing proliferating data more intelligently,” says Stefan Stern in his Leadership column. His other two recommendations are reaquainting oneself with Management [...]

“We Had Our Own Metrics”

The Audacity to Win

We had the chance to listen to David Plouffe, manager of the Obama presidential campaign, who was in town to talk about his new book, The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory. It impressed that the book may be a bit of a Moneyball with a political twist: [...]

Beautiful Monday — Data Visualization


Data never looked so beautiful as when it has had an infosthetics treatment. Incredible data visualization from Andrew Vande Moere.

Explaining Analytics

Plastic Numbers

If you need to explain analytics to a non-technical audience, this short film courtesy of IBM Social Media may be useful. It’s quite basic but that can be an advantage when presenting to the uninitiated. It is not promotional in any way so don’t be afraid of getting an IBM commercial.

Your Posture Counts When Presenting


With the beginning of fall comes a return to an agenda full of presentations and meetings. How can you make the connection between you and your audience stronger?  It turns out that Mom was right: Posture matters. A lot. Here is advice from noted public speaking consultant Nick Morgan: “You can increase the connection with [...]