Gary Cokins

Measuring and Managing Customer Profitability

The only value a company will ever create for its shareholders and owners is the value that comes from its customers--current ones and new ones acquired in the future. To remain competitive, companies must determine how to...

Are Marketing Analysts Homo Analysticus?

I enjoy maturity and evolution models of all kinds, especially for business. There is a stages of maturity model for information technologies and others such as for management accounting practices. What I like about stages of maturity models is they provide confidence that regardless...

Analytics and Big Data – Press pause on the Stairmaster

Our lives have become hectic. We are working harder and longer. We talk about life balance, but for so many of us we continue to have imbalance. Every once in a while we need to step back, press the "pause" button on the Stairmaster...

Analytics in a “city that works”

This is a difficult blog for me to write. Why? Because I grew up in Chicago that is known for being the "city that works" which means rarely being dysfunctional. However this past week I was on a business trip in Chicago's rival New...

Analytics admittance. Adults unaccompanied by minors.

The Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system rates a film's content suitability for variuos audiences. For example, A PG-13 rating requires children age 13 or under to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian if some content is deemed inappropriate. Let's consider...

Board of directors’ dashboards – Navigation or naivet

Have you ever wondered about how well boards of directors do their job? I have. And I do not have a good answer. But I was stimulated by an article written by Donald Delves, President of The Delves Group, titled "Dashboards for Boards." Ever since...

Analytics is like a dentist. It’s all in the inside.

My cousin Chris is a dentist. We are the same age, and we lived together when we were both in graduate school at Northwestern University. Chris was in dental school, and I was earning my MBA. Chris once said to me that dentistry is...

Intelligent people but stupid choices – try using analytics!

My previous blog on June 5 was about horse racing's prestigious Triple Crown race and its final leg, the Belmont Stakes. I posted my blog before the favored horse, I'll Have Another, was scratched due to a leg injury. For gamblers who would likely...

Horse racing’s Triple Crown – just like business analysts*

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness horseraces, the first and second legs of the USA's prestigious Triple Crown races, have been run. The winner of both races, I'll Have Another, will be trying to win horseracing's famous Triple Crown by winning the Belmont, but he...

Being wrong versus being confused

Which is worse? Being wrong or being confused? Let's start with some definitions. To make a wrong decision means you were mistaken and erroneous. Your decision was incorrect for the problem to be solved or opportunity that could have been realized. (There is also...

Analytics for creating more choices

Choice covers both the capacity to control people and events, and an underlying belief in the possibility of such control. Being able to rule your environment gives power to self-determination, even for babies. In a study, researchers attached strings to the arms of infants...

Tried and died. One and done. Learning from failures.

One of the frustrations I experience is when managers or analysts share with me that their organizations tried to implement progressive management methods, and they either failed or abandoned them. A prominent example is an unsuccessful attempt to implement activity-based costing to measure and...

An analytics story problem: When will two trains collide?

I recently presented a keynote presentation at the annual conference of the joint Ohio chapters of the Institute of Management Accountants. I shared the stage with Mike Willis, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the founder of and Chairman Emeritus of XBRL International. Mike posed this question...

Please put the shower curtain inside the bathtub!

I take risks as a blogger to use blog titles, like this one, that does not indicate the blog's topic. So many readers will likely not read them. In addition, some of my blog do not contain "keywords" like business analytics for website search...

Kaplan and Norton’s future vision of the Balanced Scorecard

I define Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) much broader than its narrowly perceived view as a CFO initiative with a bunch of dashboards. Under EPM's broad umbrella are these component methodologies: (1) profitability analysis; (2) forecasting, planning, and budgeting; (3) customer intelligence; (4) process improvement;...

Analytics takes the thumb off the scale

When I read an article written by Eric Garland, a strategic analyst, I was disheartened. Garland recently quit his job of 15 years as an analyst, and he expressed his frustration with decision makers in an article published in the Atlantic titled, "How So-Called...

The waiter eventually arrives with the check

How long can an organization survive if it keeps making mistakes? How competitive can a company be if its decisions are bad ones? Who wants to have their organization continue to perpetuate making decisions with flawed, misleading, or incomplete information? Organizations in a "no fact"...

Once unimaginable analytics that are now practical

The combination of technology and analytics software is solving problems in ways that only a few years ago were unimaginable. Technology's contribution is with the Internet and high performance computing (HPC). Analytics' contribution to this marriage with technology is – to keep this simple –...

The perils of analysts demanding perfection and precision

I refer to myself as a "ready-fire-aim" kind of guy. Although this is an exaggeration, it makes the point that I stop analyzing when the information is good enough to gain insights or make decisions. I am an advocate of the Pareto principle that is...

The Academy Awards and business analytics

A year ago I wrote a similar blog as this one based on my finding the acceptance speeches at Hollywood's Academy Awards to be inspirational. The speeches I enjoy most are Oscar recipients who thank the teams that contributed to their receiving the award....

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