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Dan Power

Greetings to all of my friends who work in the area of computerized decision support. This blog is a way for me to share stories from my encounters related to decision support, to comment on industry events, and to comment on other blogger's comments, especially those of my friends on the Business Intelligence Network. I'll try to state my opinions clearly and provide an old professor's perspective on how computers and information technology are changing the world. Decision making has always been my focus, and it will be in this blog as well. Your comments, feedback and questions are welcomed.

About the author >

Daniel J. "Dan" Power is a Professor of Information Systems and Management at the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa and the editor of DSSResources.com, the Web-based knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making; the editor of PlanningSkills.com; and the editor of DSS News, a bi-weekly e-newsletter. Dr. Power's research interests include the design and development of decision support systems and how these systems impact individual and organizational decision behavior.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Dan's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Harvard Business Review has an annual survey of ideas and trends that "will make an impact on business". The 2008 article identifies 20 transformations. I'll identify eight that are particularly relevant to decision support.

Jerome Groopman, MD discusses errors of judgment and how physicians are beginning to acknowledge their fallibility "in an effort to teach others and to improve themselves." CEOs should have formal decision-making reviews for self-analysis. Do you think this will happen?

Michael Sheehan suggests managers need to deal more effectively with opposition to strategic ideas. He notes "for a variety of reasons, businesses face better organized and more vocal opponents than ever before." The approaches for dealing with community-based opposition are not tied to tradional business intelligence, but good customer relationship decision support could help.

John Medina suggests "imagine a brain-friendly workplace where board meetings are conducted on treadmills, desks are equipped with stationary bicycles, and people wear gym clothes, not suits." Supposedly we "learn 20% faster immediately after exercise than after sitting still." So exercise while you use your BI tools.

Jane McGonigal writes "In the coming decade, many businesses will achieve their greatest breakthroughs by playing games - specifically, alternate reality games, or ARGs." "ARGs will provide a truly stimulating framework for doing everyday work." Supposedly alternate reality games help users develop 10 collective-intelligence competencies, like "influency", "emergensight" and "mobbability". Well the skill names seem strange, but I will investigate and blog about the competencies/skills in a future posting.

Miklos Sarvary, Professor at INSEAD titles his contribution "The Metaverse: TV of the Future?". Sarvey asserts "Within five years, the dominant internet interface is likely to be the metaverse, a term used to describe interactive multiplayer games such as Second Life." Organizations need to prepare for the coming of the metaverse. INSEAD "opened a virtual campus on Second Life to find the answers."

Jan Chipchase suggests "In an increasingly connected future, the data trails from all these sources will create a massive universe of metadata. ... In the brave new world of aggregated data, companies will need to monitor themselves as well."

Lew McCreary suggests PDAs are and will become "excuse technology". "Anticipate, therefore, epidemic levels of BlackBerry and Treo-constrained recollection of important decisions made in your presence or of orders you've issued to your teams."

Michael J. Mauboussin asserts "As computing power grows and networks unleash the wisdom of crowds, the unique value of experts in making predictions and solving problems is steadily narrowing."

Well on to 2009 and more predictions next year. Thanks HBR for looking ahead once in awhile.

Source: Harvard Business Review; February 2008, Vol. 86 Issue 2, pp. 17-45.

Posted April 5, 2008 8:41 AM
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