business intelligence

Forbes-Roundup Analytics,Big Data,BI, IOT

IOTExcellent article in Forbes on big data, analytics, and business intelligence. You can see my comments (top comments section)  and the Forbes article at

One of the best roundup articles showing forecasts and outlook in these explosive growth markets. All businesses and providers must recognize the challenges that must be met and how all must adapt to secure real value from these trends.


Summary of my recommendations in posted comments here – view big data/analytics/IOT as ‘technology enablers’, enabling you to improve and streamline business processes. The winning strategy- get past what I call the ‘gee-whiz’ factor, recognize IOT, analytics, and other technologies are a “means to the end,” driving new business processes to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve strategic position.

Forbes article is highly recommended reading for all interested in big data, analytics, and IOT.


Paul B. Silverman is Managing Partner of The Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm dedicated to helping global entrepreneurs succeed ( . He is the former CEO of a predictive analytics company and writes and speaks about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and is the author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog.



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More Mobile Devices Than People-IOT?

Interesting article in “Is Business Ready for the ‘Internet of Assets’?”

Here is a link to the article

Article quotes Digital analyst GSMA Intelligence that “… there are now more than 7.28 billion active mobile connections globally compared to 7.20 billion humans as per the US Census Bureau’s world population clock. What is more, these gadgets are multiplying 5 times faster than we are.”


factory floorWhile mobile phone and data services in developing economies are growing exponentially, IOT applications and millions of IOT devices are a major driver fueling mobile services global growth.

IOT captures millions of information elements in many businesses, but today’s firms face three challenges to use this data:

1. How do you use this information to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve strategic position ?

Today, most IOT is not effectively used. One example I like to use is McKinsey’s perspective looking at the oil drilling sector:

“… most data generated by existing IoT sensors are ignored. In the oil-drilling industry, an early adopter, we found that only 1 percent of the data from the 30,000 sensors on a typical oil rig are used, and even this small fraction of data is not used for optimization, prediction, and data-driven decision making, which can drive large amounts of incremental value.”

I see a similar situation in other sectors

2. Who is assigned responsibility to maximize the benefit of  IOT?

Maybe the CIO, or Operations Manager, Production Manager, Customer Service Manager, or other functional group? For the oil drilling sector, safety and muster drill compliance are critical factors and safety executives may be the decision makers. But to maximize IOT benefit, the starting point I always emphasize is understanding the value chain – that means quantifying value chain metrics, defining peer group benchmarks, identifying operational information ‘gaps’, and other management metrics to drive an optimum IOT solution. This is done before the first IOT device is installed with strong participation and management oversight at the “C” level.

3. How do you realign organizational structures given the reach and capabilities of IOT?

Think about production and operations management whereby decision making is often done by highly experienced line management with decades of experience. Or customer service and support groups using well-established, ‘proven’ techniques that have worked well for decades. Now imagine replacing that  with ‘algorithm decision making’ whereby integrated IOT and analytic models provide optimized decisions in the key value chain elements from supply side management and production through sales and customer service. How do you align the organization to meet these changing needs, what new skills are needed; what should be outsourced; how do you transition the organization to support the new business models- these are representative challenges that must be met for an organization to capitalize on the IOT and big data ‘tsunami’ we are now seeing.

My recommendation is view IOT and big data as ‘technology enablers’, enabling you to improve and streamline business processes.The winning strategy- get past what I call the ‘gee-whiz’ factor, recognize that IOT, analytics, and other technologies are a “means to the end” driving new business processes to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve strategic position.

Paul B. Silverman

Paul B. Silverman is Managing Partner of The Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm dedicated to helping global entrepreneurs succeed ( . He writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and is the author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.








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How Analytics is “Raising the Bar” for Corporate Strategy: Understanding the External Environment

I was invited to do a guest blog post and serve as an Advisor for Funding Profiles, a Santa Clara-based company offering a powerful suite of financial analytic tools that “integrates with existing business applications to continuously translate traditional financial metrics into the language of business strategy”. For companies with thousands of products, infrastructure, and processes spanning the globe, the ability to ‘drill down’, examine ‘what-ifs’, and assess how and if global LOBs meet KPIs and support the strategic plan, is a powerful planning tool.
But markets and technology are moving quickly, consumer power is increasing, and external global factors will impact all global businesses which creates risk and uncertainty. In fact, one study shows macro-environment, competitive and corporate positioning factors account for about 80 percent of ROA variation among LOBs. So optimizing the company’s internal resources, processes, and KPI’s really addresses only 20 percent of the planning challenge based on these findings.

My blog post describes some of today’s traditional strategy and market analysis tools and how powerful emerging analytics are reshaping today’s corporate planning strategy planning process. The starting point- developing the ‘big data’ analytic framework with powerful visualization and analysis tools and that is what Funding Profiles has achieved. Integrating the analytic framework with new analytics capable of analyzing both external structured data and unstructured text is where we are heading. And I do expect major global competitors to embrace these new capabilities, recognizing that these new tools can provide a competitive edge, creating what Tom Davenport (Author- Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning) defines as “analytic competitors”. You can read my entire post at

Paul B. Silverman
July 21, 2014

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Comments- Are Analytics Shifting from Executives to Employees?

Interesting article in Information Management Feb 6th issue  discussing how analytics decisions are being driven by mid-level staff rather than C-level executives. But analytics demands resources- what analytics should be pursued; how should analytics be deployed to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve strategic position; what are the company’s key competitive peer group metrics? These are C-level not middle management decisions. Analytics, effectively deployed, can provide high ROI, but successful adoption typically demands C-level participation.

My comments noted no question there is a C-level gap in in understanding how analytics drives increased revenue, decreased costs, and improved strategic position. The concept of “analytics competitor,” mentioned in Tom Davenport’s writings (Competing on Analytics, others) emphasize that “C-level” analytics, creatively applied, helps companies create winning strategies- examples which I have used in MBA courses are Netflix, Progressive, and even Cirque du Soleil which created a new ‘circus/theater’ market sector- if you wonder why you don’t see three circus rings or elephants, analytics played a key role in these and many other decisions. Worthwhile reading. Key point- C-level management teams that understand the power of analytics driving new business strategy will achieve above average returns and a competitive edge. “Tops-down” thinking and unfortunately missed by many.

Secondly, no doubt there is a ‘massive treasure trove of data’ available- big data is a resource, not a solution. Analytics are the tool to leverage ‘big data” to improve key metrics, e.g., revenue, costs, strategic position, and so on. And no doubt analytics supports and improves workforce operational decisions… Read more including perspectives on analytics in the healthcare sector at


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Good Analytics Article- “…Reaping Returns from Analytics”

Good insightful article in the October 18, 2013 issue of Information Management on analytics by Narendra Mulani who is Managing Director of Accenture Analytics. I posted comments sharing some additional perspectives and related opportunities I foresee. One clear message here- the analytics market is positioned for major growth and as I noted in my comment related to healthcare analytics, today we are only seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in this sector.

Check out at

Here is a copy of the comments I posted:

Excellent article. I am pleased to share some comments based on my experience in the analytics arena.

Analytics clearly provide powerful tools to optimize business processes and value chain functions. What is often overlooked is understanding the impact of external and industry factors critical to maximize performance and mitigate risk. Some studies, for example, show that external factors have a 45 percent impact on ROA. Ignore these, and your analytics may address only 55 percent of the critical performance and risk drivers.

How will global environmental policies impact your business; what is impact of changing healthcare regulations on new drug development and clinical trials; what new market opportunities are projected based on disruptive innovation in your business; how will privacy and transborder data restrictions impact your business today and tomorrow. These are external drivers which can create new markets and ‘destroy’ existing ones.

Addressing how the external environment impacts your business demands analytics addressing STEEP analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, Peer Group modeling, and similar diagnostics. And these are not static analyses- change is the only constant in today’s global environment, and having current data is critical. The winning formula- couple traditional external analysis tools, such as STEEP, with unstructured exogenous data analytics provides dynamic, real time insights on external market and business portfolio impact. Integrate these insights with internal data analytics to develop ‘actionable’ analytics. Today’s fiercely competitive global markets demands this analytics rigor.

One interesting statistic suggests 85 percent of today’s analytics solutions address CRM applications, improving the performance and operations dealing with customers and related supply chain activities. The remaining 15 percent are emerging exciting analytics directions that offer exciting opportunities.

For example, in the legal arena, Technology-Assisted Review or “TAR”, uses computer models, machine learning, and analytics to sort millions of documents identifying relevant and privileged documents to support litigation with dramatic cost savings. TAR technologies are rapidly evolving and the acceptance of TAR is now being tested in state and Federal courts.

Analytics will also play an expanded role in traditional corporate strategy management. Fortune 500 companies have thousands of business portfolios often managed using traditional analytics, e.g., hurdle rates, IRR, others. Understanding with precision how these individual portfolios align with the Company’s overall strategic plan, what are the overall projection risks, where are the corporate exposures based on both internal and external factors, are the exciting new directions being pursued by leading edge companies.

While analytics applications in healthcare are accelerating, we are at the tip of the iceberg. Using machine learning to optimize clinical care and reduce longitudinal costs for patient care; integrating healthcare claims data, EHR and genomic data to evaluate patient outlook for both clinical and insurance applications; tracking and analyzing medications and vital signs to assess drug efficacy and adverse effects for drug trial screening; are some of the many exciting new directions we see emerging that will redefine today’s healthcare system improving both quality and cost performance.

Senior management will be challenged to understand these new analytics applications to improve their global performance and mitigate risk. Even business schools must adapt- new analytics tools are reshaping our traditional approach to strategy development and competitive analysis.

Clearly exciting times lie ahead for all players in the global analytics market

Paul B. Silverman is Executive Chairman of InferX Corporation, a predictive analytics company and also teaches at the R.H. Smith School of Business in the University of Maryland.

Paul B. Silverman

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Comments on Article- “Predictive analytics showing the shape of things to come”- The Australian June 25, 2013

The Australian newspaper had an interesting article on June 25, 2013 ( describing a number of successful predictive analytics applications, but also making the point that market penetration has been slow noting “… despite the numerous uses of predictive analytics, uptake is limited. According to Gartner, only 13 per cent of organisations report extensive use, while fewer than 3 per cent use prescriptive capabilities such as decision/mathematical modelling, simulation and optimisation market”. I posted brief summary comments today in response to the article and am pleased to share a complete copy of my comments:

Excellent article and clearly summarizes the challenges we face in educating management on how PA solutions can help companies improve performance and mitigate risk. I am pleased to share the following 3 observations. My comments are based on my position as CEO of InferX Corporation, a publicly traded predictive analytics company, and serving as adjunct professor teaching MBA strategy courses in the RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

No. 1   Analytics complements ‘traditional management’

Define your mission; assess external environment and competition using PEST, Porter’s 5 Forces model, other tools; assess internal resources and capabilities; develop detailed value chain analysis; analyze product life cycles; develop cost leader/differentiation global strategies based on product, market, competition and other factors. Analytics can make a major contribution throughout the ‘traditional’ management process. Yet market analysis shows about 85% of the total PA market today addresses the CRM sector. We need to view PA within the context of traditional management rather than a separate ‘big data/analytics’ sector. Integrating PA into traditional management processes is a challenge and the real opportunity with high upside

No. 2   Analytics costs more

True. When the e-commerce revolution emerged years ago, we had major push back from companies who preferred to continue to process orders manually, work with suppliers using ad hoc systems, and avoid ‘costly’ new systems implementation and industry standards. Systems costs did increase, but we created process and performance efficiencies that improved profitability and reduced risk. Today’s analytics solutions demand understanding ROI (and how to measure) and clearly communicating this message.

No. 3    “Analytics Drives Strategy and Strategy Drives Analytics”

Properly executed and integrated into a company’s management processes, I see great opportunity to use analytics to drive strategy, particularly in shaping new product and market innovations to increase ROI. Look at Capital One, an analytics driven competitor reportedly doing 300+ analytic scenarios daily to optimize financial offerings. Or Progressive, capturing motorcycle rider clients using analytics to define a segment with both claims and expense ratios providing strong returns. Amazon, Netflix and many others are using analytics to drive ‘micro-marketing segmentation’ which is where we are heading. And these new strategies create new analytics, enabling analytics- savvy companies such as Amazon to continue to excel.

Clearly all ‘analytics solutions’ providers, a term I prefer to emphasize PA’s broader role, have a challenge ahead- to educate clients, particularly at the ‘C’ level, on the opportunities embracing these solutions and the challenges they will face if they do not. Exciting times lie ahead in the global analytics solutions business for both solutions providers and all companies in all sectors.

Paul B. Silverman

President and CEO

InferX Corporation (OTC/PK: NFRX)



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HBR Taps Data Scientist as the Sexiest Job of the Century

HBR Taps Data Scientist as the Sexiest Job of the Century

Here is an interesting post from the Spitfire Business Intelligence blog about a recent HBR article

“The award is the business world’s equivalent of People Magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive designation.But who could ever have imagined that the nod would go to the data scientist, a role pioneered by the world’s Web behemoths and now being sought after by mainstream companies seeking to gain actionable business insight from sifting through large volumes of data?”


Click on the above link to read the complete post and you may also want to access the HBR article which I think most will find interesting. These are the same messages I and many others are making about analytics and its ability to dramatically reshape and improve current business processes, create more efficient operations, and drive significant new product development and other high potential revenue opportunities.

The role of creative, powerful analytics is also reshaping our traditional perspectives on industry analysis and strategy development which are being integrated into traditional business management programs. And new career and business opportunities are emerging from all sectors in many diverse organizations, and I foresee these accelerating. We should keep in  mind analytics are still in early stage of development and deployment, and today’s management is only beginning to understand how these techniques add real value and competitive edge.You can be sure exciting and challenging times lie ahead in the analytics arena.


Paul B. Silverman

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