#intelligence #sales #sales efficiency #predictive analytics #realtime
Every morning in a red harvester ant colony begins the same way. Patroller ants peek out their heads with the sunrise, explore their landscapes and report back a course of action to the Foragers, who then begin the day’s work of collecting food for the colony.
From a wolf hunt to a football play to a sales deal, every endeavor requires information. Even bacteria must communicate to thrive.
Granted, a doughnut could be dropped beside a red harvester ant colony at midday, and the Foragers would literally walk over it, set on their goal of the old grass seeds they were pointed toward by the Patrollers that morning. Because while information is critical, they have no mechanism for updating information in real time.
Nature has seemingly decided that a 24-hour update cycle is good enough for an ant world, making for a clear diving line between superorganisms and super organizations.
Instant access to of-the-moment information, culled from startlingly fast-growing troves of data, is changing the world. It’s also upending the pace and intensity of competition in every industry, if not the ability for some companies to continue to compete at all.
For example, early this year, the City of Los Angeles approved an Open Data Initiative that made publically available, for the first time, hundreds of datasets, from building permits and traffic information to the breakdowns of budgets across the city.
Instantly, far greater transparency and accountability were imposed on city representatives and their offices, and opportunities for innovation became possible. Within months, the navigation app Waze announced that, using the datasets, it would begin sharing information with drivers about road closures, construction and blocked streets — and updating that information every two minutes.
Across the business universe, another example is Amazon’s “anticipatory shipping.” So confident is the company in its predictive analyses — fed by uniquely vast data sets — that it’s begun shipping some items before they’ve been ordered, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a business environment in which customer purchases can be reduced to one controlled detail among many, surviving, if not thriving, requires the collection and analysis of far more data than ever before, and a way to make those findings instantly available to the people who can use them to act, or change course.
Because without real-time analytics and updates, they could fail to recognize even the most tempting, sugar-coated opportunity looming over them.