2011/02/10 Leave a comment
Advertisers, executives and now eDiscovery lawyers attracted to the promise that predictive analytics will help them influence the future would learn much more by studying the link between Chanel No5 and predictive analytics tools.
Let’s start with Predictive Analytics and get to Chanel later.
Predictive analytics is an outcome delivered by the application of tools and techniques that provide insight today to what might happen tomorrow, much like the gypsy in a tent.
The attraction of predictive analytics story to executives is quite high as it promises to ease their struggle to align future products to constantly changing customer needs. Indeed Predictive Analytics may also be seen as a relief to leaders of E-Discovery teams as they search for numbers and stories embedded in huge data pools to help them prevail in their stewardship of typically high cost, low value eDiscovery projects.
Let’s now look into the core of Predictive Analytics — numbers, stories and scenarios to understand its value.
Shell Scenarios, Stories and Sufi
Pierre Wack, a Shell employee and Sufi, raised the practice of Scenario Analysis honed at Rand for the US military to a high commerical art. Pierre Wack future-proofed Shell and used Scenario Analysis to help lift Shell from a third tier oil company to a global energy giant.
Numbers & Stories Predict Future Events
As a fully recovered accountant I learned to use stories to magnify the value of analytics as I delivered services with Microsoft, Cognos, Business Objects or other technologies to global corporations.
Currently we use these tools to accelerate or magnify the value of predictive analytics projects;
A. ‘Story or Perspective Lens’ — Story | Process | Software or Idea | Brand | Numbers or KPIs
- A story aligns People, Content & Purpose
- Tell a story twice and it becomes a Process.
- Tell a story three times and Software is made.
- Tell a story four times and you create a Brand value.
- Tell a story five times and accountants craft KPI measures.
With a little practice, almost anyone can point a Perspective Lens to a corporate value chain and receive some insight to what is happening today and what is likely to happen in the next 6 to 12 months.
Two simple tools to magnify the value of a story lens:
Predictive Analytics, Personae & Scenarios
1. Identify the Personae across a corporation’s global value chain and use Predictive Analytics to determine how their behaviours may change over the next 6 to 12 months.
2. Target and understand the relationships of key stories embedded in the corporation’s financial forecast.
3. Modify some original stories according to anticipated changes in Persona behaviours or add new stories to reflect unforeseen events such as Barrack Obama being elected as the next US President.
4. Label the first story cluster Scenario1 and the new cluster of stories Scenario2.
5. Use measures to determine which Scenario is active and pre-plan reponses accordingly.
Scenarios & Future-Proofing
Future-proofing is a concept that uses scenarios to avoid disaster or exploit opportunities in the future.
Consider how you would manage and align the business if the world unfolds according to the stories in Scenario1 or what might be done if the world unfolds according the Scenario2 Predictive Analytics, Perspective Lenses, Personae and Scenario analysis help us deal with the future now.
Chanel No5, Stories and Numbers
All storytellers intuitively understand that numbers and stories are complementary and as a storyteller I must point out that at one time stories and numbers were one and indeed even today a number evokes many stories–the numbers 7 or 4 in the Chinese culture or even the number 5 in our own.
Africa and Predictive Analytics
In the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria the deity of love, sexuality and finance is OSHUN and her number is 5.
Coco Chanel must have known about the mythical connection or was extremely lucky to have named her iconic scent No5 though either way the connection of stories and numbers is important.
Numbers, Stories and Behaviours
Studying Jung’s protégé Marie-Louise von Franz offers researchers more resources in the exploration of the links between numbers and stories though I suggest starting with;
Originally Presented As Lectures at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich
(Studies in Jungian Psychology) (Paperback)
by Marie-Louise von Franz
Stories are the core of what we are and what we do, and for those with an unclear understanding of the expertise offered by a storyteller, allow me offer this view—Storytellers perceive by measuring differently and have the ability to magnify any Predictive Analytics effort.
Five levels of storytellers expertise;
- Hear a story
- Repeat a story
- Tune a story
- Create a story
- Live a story
Join us to explore the application of Predictive Analytics to Advertising or E-Discovery.