It’s pretty amazing that a book about statistics-driven player evaluation strategies in Major League Baseball could become a box-office hit.
Maybe this shows just how big a star Brad Pitt really is. Or maybe it shows that sports are an irresistible metaphor for business.
More likely, the success of Moneyball – like the hype surrounding the appearance of Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, on Jeopardy a few months ago – shows just how prevalent both analytics and data-driven management styles have become.
The Link Between Moneyball & the Rise of Data-Driven Management
Even popular culture now recognizes the power of data to transform many different aspects of our personal and professional lives.
From making ecommerce recommendations and telling us about our friends’ favorite bands, to managing energy grids and projecting crop harvests, data flows are essential to businesses around the world and in every conceivable industry.
That said, I’m reminded that for all the potential insights that data can generate, many companies simply lack the tools to take meaningful action with it. If I may mix sports, the average fantasy football player has better tools to interact with data than many senior-level executives at global enterprises.
What we previously wrote about fantasy football and corporate performance management remains true today:
However, compared to their counterparts in business, fantasy football players aren’t likely to drown in data. Why? Because they have the powerful tools, reliable infrastructure and high-quality data they need to make good decisions and optimize performance.
Not every company needs Watson-like supercomputing power. Not every manager has to be a visionary like Billy Beane, the hero of Moneyball.
Instead, the focus must be on realizing which data and metrics are most important in terms of tracking progress against core strategies and objectives, and then developing the toolsets (whether it’s sophisticated dashboards or simple reports) to see the data and take action against it.
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