Newsletter – August, 2018

On My Mind
Qualitative approaches—such as grounded theory, ethnography, and the case study method—seem to be gaining more corporate attention as the limitations of quantitative approaches are becoming more well-known. This is in part why I define analytics as “the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data for decision making.” Both “Q” approaches can be used to capture tacit and explicit knowledge which were so masterfully described in the landmark book “The Knowledge-Creating Company” by Nonaka and Takeuchi. It is especially important in analytics work to understand the four knowledge conversion modes: Socialization, Externalization, Combination, and Internalization. Organizations are hiring a multitude of “Quants” these days, but not a lot of “Quals.” A holistic view of analytics values both qualitative and quantitative data. A company can ignore qualitative data, but at its own risk.

Interesting Stories
Some stories do have a happy ending! The nearly unbelievable rescue of the twelve soccer players and their coach from the cave network in Thailand revealed so many positive traits of humans. I was moved by the courage, hope, ingenuity, and cooperation displayed during the rescue operation. The thirteen people were fortunate to be found in the first place and then the international rescue plan to extract them from the cave network was far from a sure thing – especially with the potential for more rain and cave flooding. One heroic rescuer tragically died during the rescue operation. If you missed the news coverage of the event, don’t worry, there will be numerous magazine articles, books, and movies that attempt to tell the epic tale.

Company News
I’ll be presenting on Information-Based New Value Creation at the Global Quality Futures Workshop in Monterey, California on August 10, 2018. The schedule for the next public Strategic Improvement Systems (SIS), LLC events has been set: Strategic Improvement Green Belt Course – Starts August 15, 2018; and the Strategic Improvement Black Belt Course – Starts August 21, 2018. Also, the 10th Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 2, 2018 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The brochures for these events are available on this website. The Fall Schedule for SIS public events will be available on this website in late August.

Intriguing Reads
The new book by Douglas B. Laney titled, “Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage” is an exceptional resource if you are interested in learning how to benefit from the analytics revolution. This book provides deep insights on how to develop organizational analytics capabilities. I especially liked the Gartner Information Management Maturity Model. Laney was the creator of the “3V” definition of big data (Volume, Variety, and Velocity) which has become an important component of the unofficial global standard definition.