From now to right now
When it comes to a book on business, what makes for a good
read is the author substantiating what he says with instances from real life.
Going by this rule of thumb, Vivek Ranadivés 2006 title The
Power To Predict: How Real-Time Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs, Create
Opportunities and Beat the Competition is a good read.
If there is one thing that is constant throughout the book, it is Ranadives
affirmation that businesses have entered an age where they can not only collect
relevant information in real-time, but also interpolate these facts and datums
to predict what will happen in the future.
Ranadives thesis is that the concept of predictive business will change
the way businesses are managed. He connects businesses to everyday happenings.
Instead of asking the reader questions like So, do you want your balance
sheet to look good and display the companys vision statement?, Ranadive
asks the reader if he wants to run the business like a champion sports team
or simply a casual softball team.
He goes into the concept in detail explaining what it is and how it has helped
organisations around the world. Through it, a business can avoid potential problems
in its supply-demand chain. Another concept that he touches upon is eager
network where a company anticipates whats going to happen in the
long run, which helps it deliver goods and services to its customers on time.
||The Power to Predict: How Real-Time
Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs, Create
Opportunities and Beat the Competition
He writes that real-time information
does not equate to real-time business. He explains that the latter is
about managing assets and activities so that the organisation can quickly
respond to change. This can happen with the help of real-time information
He writes that real-time information does not equate to real-time business.
He explains that the latter is about managing assets and activities so that
the organisation can quickly respond to change. This can happen with the help
of real-time information.
Ranadive stresses on the fact that it is not just real-time information that
will help businesses. He talks of the ability to combine real-time information
with historical data such as customer profiles and then make use of both.
There are numerous case studies in this 239-page book. They start right from
Chapter 1 where he mentions how Pirelli, Adidas-Solomon and Southwest Airlines
benefitted from the concept of real-time business. One of the more interesting
case studies is where he writes about Harrahs Casinos, a casino chain
that stores analytical data about customer behaviour, and attempts to keep its
clientèle in a positive frame of mind by serving up special offers such
as free dining at a restaurant or free tickets to a show of their choice. This
is generally done when a customer has a bad evening at the gambling tables.
The author tries to prove his point by giving facts that cant be ignored.
To reinforce his views about the future of the predictive business, Ranadive
also mentions the various sectors of the industry that can benefit from this
concept namely financial services, transportation and logistics, retail, energy
and even warfare.
Towards the end, he delves upon the things that organisations need to do if
they want to be real-time businesses. He mentions best practices and talks of
Tibco of which he is the CEO. Incidentally, the text related to Tibco is short.
It would have been nice to know more about the authors own company and
how real-time business works there.
All said, the book is well written with plenty of examples and case studies
to support what the author is saying. Diagrams are aplenty, they quickly show
what the past, present and future of a business could be.