CFO Conference

I was recently in San Francisco for a CFO Conference to learn the latest about business analytics. Majority of the attendees did not even have a handle on their key performance indicators. I spoke with some of the consultants at the show and most found it humerous to talk about predictive analytics.
Some large banks, casinoes and major brand owners like P&G have advanced to the stage that they are using data models to predict future outcomes. 99% (the rest of us) are still trying to figure out what we should be measuring to begin with.
IBM had a booth, but there was no one manning it. Business Objects had a half hearted presence. SAS Institute was the only major player with a full precense at the show. Smaller venders were razzle dazzling with coler codes, gages and data correlation tools. I have to say that if this was the most focused analytics conference of the year, then we still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong… the speakers were good and the audience was truly focused. The maturity of the domain dissapointed.
In one of the lunch sessions a CFO commented that their organization had a hard time defining the ballanced scorecard so they purchased a best of bread analytics platform that provided a proven set of metrices. Oh, my gosh!!!! Some organizations had a leading vendors platform, but had reverted to excel. I spoke with oe of the attendees and she asked me which platform I would recommend. I told her that if properly configured any of the leading platforms would do the job. It’s really not about the technology as much as it’s about knowing what you are doing and training/empowering your people to use the solution. I could clearly see that this message resonated with her.

One Comment on “CFO Conference”

  1. Juha says:

    Gary, thank you for commenting on my article. I dont think that the consultants were referring to predictive analytics as humorous. They were rather refferring to having a room of people listening to numerous presentations (brilliant in their own right) about predictive analytics when their primary motive for comming to the event was to get more basic information on how to get firmly started.
    A gentleman next to me said that he would need to work with GE to be able to implement Professor Kaplans methods with the rigour that he was presenting. One attendee mentioned that they had regressed back to excel, because their BI platform adoptaion did not work out. As I refered to in my block one attendee admitted on implementing a best practice scorecard template from market leading platform vendor, because they were having difficulty in deciding what they should be measuring to begin with.
    From what I have seen this is the true status in the majority of mid sized enterprises.

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