Monday, August 23, 2010

The incredible power of slow change

Read this if you have any interest in how change happens. Puts things in perspective and makes you think about what really causes major changes.

Article from Seth Godin here.


...Cultural shifts create long terms evolutionary changes. Cultural shifts, changes in habits, technologies that slowly obsolete a product or a system are the ones that change our lives. Watch for shifts in systems and processes and expectations. That's what makes change, not big events.

Don't worry about what happened yesterday (or five minutes ago). Focus on what happened ten years ago and think about what you can do that will make a huge impact in six months. The breaking news mindset isn't just annoying, it may be distracting you from what really matters. As the world gets faster, it turns out that the glacial changes of years and decades are become more important, not less.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Structured Analytic Techniques


I'm reading a great book by Richards Heuer and Randolph Pherson on Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis.

From the Amazon product description:

This book takes the relatively new concept of structured analytic techniques, defines its place in a taxonomy of analytic methods, and moves it a giant leap forward. It describes 50 techniques that are divided into eight categories. There are techniques for:

  • Decomposition and Visualization
  • Idea Generation
  • Scenarios and Indicators
  • Hypothesis Generation and Testing
  • Cause and Effect
  • Challenge Analysis
  • Conflict Management
  • Decision Support

Each structured technique involves a step-by-step process that externalizes an individual analyst's thinking in a manner that makes it readily apparent to others, thereby enabling it to be shared, built on, and easily critiqued by others. This structured and transparent process combined with the intuitive input of subject matter experts is expected to reduce the risk of analytic error.

Although this book is mostly targeted at Intelligence professionals, it provides some fantastic techniques which can be utilised by analysts in all fields. Well worth a read.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Big Data - new strategic asset


I saw this post a while back in the NY Times. Dealing with Big Data effectively is becomming a huge challenge for many organisations. It's also becomming a huge growth industry for both technology and services.

Comment by Usama Fayyad [emphasis is mine]: "In the past, Mr. Fayyad noted, data was regarded as a byproduct of doing business, often a backward-looking record of little value. But today’s vast oceans of data, combined with tools for instant analysis and prediction, Mr. Fayyad said, are a “new strategic asset” that can be used to build “new revenue streams and new businesses.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


In case you missed it before, check out for an interesting Cloud Computing initiative.