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BI Screamers

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Southern California and decided to take my two teenage kids to Six Flags, Magic Mountain. Now this is definitely a place for those who like wild rides. After getting soaked on a log ride, my wife and I found ourselves being led to a monster construction called “Goliath”. This 26 story high roller coaster is considered an “Extreme” category ride that at one point plunges at a 60 degree angle, reaching a speed of 85 mph, into a dark tunnel. Definitely not a ride for the squeamish or for sensible Business Intelligence consultants!

I sat next to my wife, tightly locked in with shoulder protectors and wondered what would happen next. Just as we climbed to the top of the 26 story peak, my wife started screaming hysterically. I turned to her just at the point that we started to plunge. As I turned back to look down, we disappeared into a dark tunnel. When we emerged, my wife started screaming again and, sure enough, a second later we were looping upside down. This pattern continued throughout the ride and when we finally stopped, I turned to my wife to see her rigidly gripping her shoulder handles and looking as though she had seen a ghost! It took a little while to pry her loose from her seat and she was shaking for a good two minutes afterwards.  

GoliathWhile my wife certainly got her money’s worth out of Goliath, it also got me thinking about the state of the economy and Business Intelligence right now. I know, you must think I have a weirdly wired brain, but sometimes I honestly cannot control what comes into my head! So, here we are in this strange economy where one day we are diving into a recession and the next day we are emerging from a recession that never really was a recession. While the financial experts drive us crazy with their inconsistent predictions, businesses are desperately trying to adjust to both the current and future economic climate. The result is not that different to a ride on the Goliath roller coaster.

If we look too far ahead based on the predictions of the experts, we start screaming and panicking before anything has happened, just like my wife. If we base our business decisions and adjustments on solid fact then we can ride the ups and downs and twists on what we are actually experiencing. Business Intelligence takes on a whole new significance in a downward economic situation. It is more important than ever to have accurate analysis of current and historical data and a single view of the truth so that you can make informed decisions before deciding which path to take.

One example that jumps to mind is the major US airlines needing to increase passenger revenue, eliminate certain routes, ground inefficient planes all to cope with the unprecedented increase in fuel costs. A good Business Intelligence solution will help make the best decision that will impact the airline the least. Better still, it will monitor, measure and make further recommended adjustments based on the results as the new actions are put in place. I can only recommend that all businesses look to use Business Intelligence to help them ride out this current roller coaster economy and if you are still not convinced, then just take a ride on Goliath with a screamer!

About Paul

Paul Grill, Co-Founder and CEO of Infosol Inc., is an information technology guru with more than 40 years’ experience in the IT industry. Recognized as an industry expert, Paul’s vision is to collaborate and develop long-term global relationships, resulting in the successful implementation of business intelligence solutions. Paul believes a company’s success with Business Intelligence is a combination of data and people’s insights and actions. He believes in the coexistence of technologies. With a strong portfolio of clients ranging from fortune 50 companies, start-ups, and middle market, Paul takes pride in his ability to deliver positive transformations impacting company’s productivity and profitability through the application of business intelligence. He is often heard saying that “data holds amazing nuggets that can be used to create limitless BI solutions that make a difference in people’s lives”. Throughout Paul’s career, he has been a speaker, lecturer, and writer sharing his passion for Information Technology and Business Intelligence. On a personal note, Paul is an avid runner, Tai Chi practitioner, and youth soccer coach. Paul’s curiosity for knowledge expands beyond technology with a passion for Ancient Egyptology and Gorillas.

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