Saturday, February 25, 2012

Moneyball Movie, Sabermetrics & Enterprise Analytics!

Thought of naming this post as 'Relation between the Game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire & Enterprise Software'. Will talk about it in little while..

Brad Pitt starred Moneyball movie released in India this week. The movie is based on a True story,
where the General Manager of a undervalued baseball team takes a counter-intuitive approach to make the team a winner!

What is the unconventional approach  that the GM takes?. The traditional process for selection of players depends on the players' physical abilities and mental toughness. Whereas, Billy Beane (General Manager) takes a statistical approach for choosing players.

He chooses players on a statistic called on-base plus slugging. Billy's theory was based on the works of a sabermetrician - Bill James. Sabermetrics is the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records. Billy Beane's philosophy of winning base ball matches is supported by a mathematical formula that is backed by statistics. Once he has a philosophy and a winning formula, Billy chooses players who would be conductive to the formula!. By this approach, Billy turns a underfunded, overlooked baseball team to overachievers.

The key takeway from this story is all about identifying and tracking only critical metrics, striving for lean and efficient operations and optimizing resource management.  These principles can be applied to any enterprise scenario that needs to be improved.  As this story implies, that one small insight in the business can secure competitive advantage and revolutionalize the industry.

Interestingly, Billy Beane joined the board of Software-as-a-Service provider - Netsuite. One can see NetSuite logo in quite a few places in the actual movie (Moneyball) as well. Netsuite CEO Nelson articulates here a list of management rules inspired by Billy Beane!.

Coming to another Game, Who wants to be a Millionaire...The regional versions of this Game debutes in India this week!.

Later, Moneyball has become a new metaphor for metrics based management in many other verticals such as investment management in capital markets, TV Game shows (Jeopardy/Who wants to be a millionaire), and in Enterprise Segments - Sales/Digital Marketing.

Here is another fascinating story where a PhD in computer science made tons of money in the Game show - Jeopardy - using data-mining and Clustering techniques to figure out the questions that the contenstant "needs" to know.

This also implies that the contestant doesn't need to master all facts in the world to compete!.

This strategy applies to the Game show - Who wants to be millionaire. If some one has watched the promos of the game show, the sample questions asked in them are intented to tease the audience so that they feel that they have a fighting chance to win the game.

And that's the trick!. Focusing on metrics that only matter to the Game/Business!.

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