It feels like the tagline to a bad infomercial you watch while up late at night eating foods you don’t want to admit were in your cupboards. Last year, I emceed the ASUG Fall Focus Supply Chain Conference in Chicago and asked the audience that question. Most recently, I’ve been chatting with my friend Bertrand about a variety of analytics topics, and he shared his article Machine learning, the antidote to “fat data”?
After reading his article, I realized most of us are suffering from infobesity. It is the natural evolution of several things we have done to ourselves. To a certain degree, we have centralized our processes and focused on getting data in systems. The technologies have changed and we can capture more data than ever before. We are collecting terabytes and petabytes of data from all imaginable sources and struggling to figure out what to do with it. Sound familiar?
More importantly, once we look at our data, we are uncovering the ugly truth. Not only do we have fat data, we have dirty, stinky data!
For most of us, we need better ways to see our data to figure out how and what to clean up. How about you? Do you ever feel stuck in your current mindset, like a hamster on a wheel that just wants a way off? During the ASUG Fall Focus Supply Chain Conference, Hau Ngo from Summerlin Analytics and I presented a session called Finding Cost-Saving Opportunities with Custom Metrics. Hau’s specialty is helping cut through the bureaucracy and old mindset thinking that tells you it takes six months to deliver anything in the reporting world. Our aim was to get our audience to think differently in order to move faster. We shared practical insights to shift your reporting approach. This presentation was an experiment for us to see if moving faster for reporting was of interest. It was a successful experiment and we received excellent feedback on the session. We decided to continue tweaking the concept and adding more examples. Stay tuned for the additions we are making as we prepare to present it again. In fact, if you have questions about simple supply chain stats you wish were easier to capture, drop Hau or me a line and we will explore adding it to one of these future presentations.
Yes, infobesity is real and many of us are struggling to analyze and digest all this data. But, with a dash of creativity and some new approaches, there are ways to eat the elephant. Learning how to move faster is one potential approach for your toolkit.
P.S. Thank you to ASUG for having me emcee and to the wonderful supportive audience in attendance at Fall Focus! I had never emceed an event and your support and encouragement was fantastic. A special thank you to all of you that found me offline and shared your canning stories and memories with me – it was incredible!