Mar 26, 2012

Moneyball, Science and Scientific BI

If you like data and need to understand what science can do to your BI & business see Moneyball the movie.
I normally never watch a movie twice but with Moneyball I had to watch it three times. It resonated with everything I have been trying to do since 2009. Moneyball used empirical science to eliminate defects, it used scientific principles to optimize performance and it used data, pure scientific data to create a new path of how to succeed in a game where experts thought they knew everything there was to know about baseball.

It should come as no surprise that in the late 1800's the industrial thinkers thought that they knew everything about industry and that industry would create everything humans ever desire.
In the early 1900 physics thought that mankind had learned everything there was to know about science, to the point where they even stated that there was nothing left in science to learn or discover.
In the 1990's BI solution architects similarly thought that they now knew everything there was about to learn about data and data warehouses and by the end of the first decade we are surrounded by technocrats that firmly believe that technology alone had all the answers that information users can ever need.

According to Gartner whatever we have been doing in BI so far has not been really successful as the success rate of BI projects languishes below 50%, i.e. "less that 50% of BI projects will meet business expectations"
According to Albert Einstein, "Insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

My favorite part is when Billy Beane answers to John when asked why he took his call. To this Billy answered ".. Because I believe science might offer an answer to the curse of the bambinos"

To which John replies
"One of the greatest things about money (in our case scientific principles of BI) is that it does not care what baseball (BI conventional wisdom) thinks or what it doesn’t think" he continued "You have won the exact number of games the Yankees won. But the Yankees paid $1.4 million per win and you paid 260 thousand. The first guy through the wall always gets bloody, always!. This is threatening not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it is threatening the Game. But, what its really threatening is their livelihood, their jobs. It's threatening the way they do things, and everytime that happens whether it’s the government or the way of doing business or whatever it is, the people who ae holding the reigns, holding the switch - they go batshit critzy" and with a slow pause he continues, "Anybody that's not tearing down their team (Conventional BI Methodology) right now and rebuilding it using your model - they're dinosaurs. They'll be sitting on their arses, on the sofa, in October watching the Red Sox win the World Series"
This is the starting intro in my new book:  'The Scientific Principles of Information Delivery' planned for Q3 of 2012

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