Friday, April 25, 2014

Summary of Philip Evans: How data will transform business

An utter failure in communication, I am afraid. This is the hurdle that the analyst position in business, today, is about - learning to communicate. Would of loved to have studied under Philip Evans, certainly would have been an honor. But I've had to watch this a dozen times in order to be capable of relaying the message (often, a deliberate reaction by genius to TED time limitations). 

Full Disclosure: I am involved in data. 

EDIT: Listening at x0.5 speed helps (this is a paradox - just keep reading). 


  • Data accrual happens, identification is essential, 
  • An organisation's data collection methodology is what is proprietary; or rather, the differentiator over the short term;
  • This and any derived advantages, erode over the medium-term,
  • Stated strategy is what precipitates from what is communicated downward, therefore data in a usable form is the secret now; 
  • And since secrecy is scarce and fragile, And if secrecy is unattainable, competitors must be considered equals in terms of knowledge. 
  • There is too much data for secrecy and it comes in too many different forms. 
  • Certainty about business requires competitor analysis (to be prudent) is now more elusive,
  • Organisations are thus best served chasing game-changing ideas without guiding principles (strategy). 
  • "The very small can substitute for the corporate scale" 
  • His disclaimer: "it is curious that the future is so much more predictable than the present." 
  • He uses the DNA example because progress was measured and that the capital involved was big, 
  • But it should be noted that this phenomenon is manifesting everywhere. 
  • Simply put: stratification is what is required, not consolidation. 
  • Competition will likely fall away and success will accounted for in terms of quality of relationships. 

What a delightfully organic process!

Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust...

The State Funeral for Nelson Mandela: Jacob Zuma Sings

anyone watching this must, primarily, focus on the fact that this is a political commentator who has agreed to chaperone CNN during this broadcast; and it is clear that these views are his own. Who knows whether Mandela sang this song around his dinner table with his family? He did, and that is my opinion. Secondly, the interpretation of these lyrics when sang by Mandela is "we have taken pain and suffering which was transformed into a hate - precipitated from the struggle, and we have built a country with reconciliation". There are examples of countries that have emerged without reconciliation or violence in africa, and maybe Tata focused on that too much. But this song is a totem to his accomplishments; so Jacob Zuma has done well. I, for one, am not too sure whether non-africans can understand the role of song-play in african cultures and the intuition therein conveyed, so let me try: this song could have been sung in another tone and the commentator points out that it was sung amongst gospels and at religious gatherings. the event of a religious gatherings, it must be noted, is closely associated with salvation of the individual and collective soul. maybe it would be possible for viewers to transport themselves into the mind of the funeral attendees, and sympathise with South Africans about who has been lost. We say things at funerals that should not be said but we say them anyway, as africans, and this is testament to what happened this day - we buried a man, not an idea. long live, tata madiba, long live.

as always, all annotation implied.