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Ron Powell

Thanks for visiting my blog. As co-founder of the BeyeNETWORK, acquired by TechTarget in 2010, I am privileged to participate in many industry-related activities as a BeyeNETWORK expert covering business intelligence and analytics. These events provide me with a unique insider perspective into the business intelligence ecosystem, its products and the vendors that provide those products. I'll be sharing that invaluable information with you through this blog, which will also be a reflection my business philosophy. And, just to make this interesting, I'll be sure to include my personal point of view on a wide range of topics and share some of the stories of people I meet in my travels.

About the author >

Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

March 2010 Archives

You all know how useful predictive analytics are for your business, but what about watching predictive analytics in action to see who will be playing the upcoming NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?

Does Vegas know about this software? Maybe the oddsmakers use it themselves to determine the spread in the biggest gambling event/season of the year? Will the developers have to go back to the drawing board when the field is increased to 96 or even opened to all Division 1 teams?

Here's the link to the newly updated "Dance Card" (Note: Internet Explorer works better for this link than Firefox) formula developed by Jay Coleman of the University of North Florida, Mike DuMond of Charles River Associates, and Allen Lynch of Mercer University. The Dance Card is a formula designed to predict which teams will receive at-large tournament bids from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. SAS Institute Inc. is the maker of the software package used to develop the Dance Card.

Over the 15-year period from 1994 through 2008, the original Dance Card correctly predicted 476 of the 512 available at-large Tournament slots (or 93%). Over the 9-year period (2000 through 2008) for which the original Dance Card was used since its initial development in 1999, it correctly predicted 284 out of the 307 available at-large Tournament slots (92.5%). The formula's best years were in 2001 and in 2005, when it correctly predicted 33 of the 34 available at-large Tournament slots (or 97% accuracy).

The newly updated and modified Dance Card correctly predicted 32 of the 34 available at-large slots in 2009, the first season in which it was used to make predictions. Over the 10 years of data (1999 through 2008) on which its development was based, it would have correctly predicted 331 of the 341 available at-large Tournament slots, or 97.1% accuracy (i.e., it would have averaged one at-large slot missed per year).

It makes me wonder if Vegas know about this software? Maybe the oddsmakers use it themselves to determine the spread in the biggest gambling event/season of the year. Will the developers have to go back to the drawing board when the field is increased to 96 or even opened to all Division 1 teams?

The site will be updated daily this week and then multiple times on selection Sunday.

Posted March 8, 2010 3:06 PM
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I read something this week that merits sharing and reinforces why business performance management is so critical during challenging economic times. In February of this year, a poll - the Business Volatility and Variables Survey - was conducted by Adaptive Planning and the Business Performance Management Forum. Financial executives were polled, and here are some of the survey findings.

Fifty-one percent of these financial executives predict a "W-shaped" recovery, up from 46 percent a quarter ago, and 72 percent expect that a recovery will not occur until the second half of 2010 or later. Additionally, 67 percent expect that a meaningful improvement in jobs will not occur until 2011 or beyond.  

Respondents have brighter expectations for their companies than they do for the overall economy. More than half (55 percent) expect revenue growth for their company over the next six months, while 25 percent expect to add jobs - more than the 17 percent that project jobs growth from the broader economy in the next two quarters.  

A number of factors indicate that small and midsized companies could lead the way out of the recession. Employee growth expectations in the next six months are about three times higher in the small (31 percent) and midsized (27 percent) company sectors than for large organizations (only 10 percent).  And midsized organizations are much more upbeat about the future, with 49 percent expecting economic improvements in the next six months versus only 34 percent of large companies.

Consistent with previous quarterly results, overall economic uncertainty remains high, particularly with smaller companies (61 percent) and midsized companies (50 percent) versus large organizations (39 percent). Nearly half (49 percent) came in under their revenue plan last quarter, though some of this was offset by lower than expected expenses (36 percent). Economic uncertainty and ongoing underperformance versus plans continue to drive an increased need for frequent scenario planning and what-if analysis, with 59 percent expecting to do so more often next quarter.

"Taken together, these results illustrate an extremely mixed outlook for both the economy and corporate performance over the foreseeable future," said William A. Soward, CEO of Adaptive Planning. "While there are downside risks from a possible double-dip recession, there is also the potential for upside surprises, given the fact that the company-specific outlook is brighter than that for the overall economy. In either case, the successful companies will be those that are able to plan for multiple scenarios, closely monitor their actual performance, and respond quickly to changes in their business and operating environments."

For more information on the summary report of the findings, download the PDF.

Posted March 4, 2010 6:00 AM
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