Sunday, May 2, 2010

Think Reactive

One of the most amazing features of the human brain is its ability to recieve and analyze large amounts of data and react accordingly (ex. fight or flight). As analytical information systems evolved over time it seems that emphasis has always been on the ablity to process and analyze data rather then react to it. The result is a lot of information about what happened and even why it happened but little ability to effect and improve what is actually happening now.

So we always have explenations and excuses and perhaps ideas for improvements but we lack the ability to effect the present in order to change the future outcome.

Well, as you may have guessed, I think this should change. I think we should focus on what our applications can do with data rather then just displaying it in various manners. Dont get me wrong, the analysis offered by tools in the BI, web analytics and fraud detection fields is important but as a step towards action, not as a goal of its own. We should focus on predictive and reactive analysis to leverage the value of the data and the events around us.

I belive in "Turning Insight into Action" - and that is the heart of thinking Reactive. Nowadays, when there is so much information flying around, changing in an ever growing pace we should all think of how to turn this information and it analysis to actions that would help us achieve our goals whther they are selling more, securing better or improving service.

A report is really valuable if you have the means to turn its conclusions into actions while the relevant objective can still be reached. Here's an example: If I review daily reports of online trafic to my web site and can detect visitors location, organization and the pages they have viewed but cant interact with them (preferably automatically) to achieve my goals (get leads, sell, share...) based on these facts its not worth much since they are out of my web site by the time I read the report. They may or may not return and I might not recognize them if they do. Valuable data is waisted due to lack of ability to react on time.

Think Reactive! Dont waist your time on interesting insight that you cant turn into effective action.

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