7/25/2011

BI predict the future?

Business Intelligence is great!  It's the next best thing in IT.

You can look at the data and identify:

Who?  What?  Where?  When?  How?

For example, in baseball, individual players are on a team, each team plays other teams, on a specific date, in a specific stadium, etc.

We capture all the details as they happen:

We can then create reports to identify all the statistics, in a rear view fashion.

Who played who, when, was the pitcher a righty or lefty, what was the score, who stole bases, how many pitches per inning, etc.

Let's say one report goes to the Owner, one to the general manager, one to the playing manager, one to the scouting agent, one to the players.

The higher up the chain, the less details are provided.

The owner probably wants to see just the rolled up data where the scouting agent wants to see all the guts and details.

They each view the reports to get a snapshot of the past.

And we could create reports that show data over time, to look for trends.

However, we can only report "the past".

You can not create reports to predict future events.

Who is going to play in the World Series?
How many games will it go?
What will the scores be
Who will win?
Over the next 5 years?

You can only "guess" the answer to these questions.

And why can't you predict?

Because there are forces beyond your control that are not on the report.

One of the players gets injured.
One gets traded.
One goes into a batting slump.
One player goes on a 50 game hitting streak.
The owner sells the team.
Etc, etc, etc.

Thus, the question of "why" can only be answered in hindsight.

Why did this team win and not the other?
Why did this pitcher success and this one not.
Why did this team generate more revenue and not this team?

BI reporting can be used as a barometer to get a pulse at the moment.
BI reporting can be used like a microscope to get down to the finest gradual.
BI reporting can be used as a historian to look at the past.
BI reporting can be used by a detective to look for clues and patterns.

Business Intelligence is a tool to report on the past.
It does not predict the future because it lacks a human element and does not include every possible factor.

And that is both strength and weakness of BI.

Past results are not indicative of future behavior.
If it could predict the future, we could create BI reports for the Stock Market and make a fortune.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Thoughts to Ponder