What Analytics can learn from The Very Cranky Bear

I was reading my daughters’ favourite book last night when I suddenly burst out laughing – much to their amusement.  It dawned on me that the Very Cranky Bear was teaching them an invaluable lesson that many in the technology industry have failed to learn – that is, the importance of listening to what someone really needs and not jumping to conclusions based on your own experience.

If you haven’t read this book – you must!

Imagine four experts find themselves up against a cranky bear, only in this case it’s four animals – Zebra, Moose, Lion and Sheep.

Zebra, Moose and Lion decide the only way to make Bear happy is to give him the same features that make them happy – so they fetch a tin of paint to give him stripes, some sticks for antlers, and some “grass of gold” for a mane.  Sheep, well Sheep patiently waits and listens.

They creep inside the cave and give Bear all the features they think he needs to be happy.  No surprise Bear is super cranky now and roars that all he really wants is a “quiet place to sleep“.

Sheep listens.  Sheep thinks.  Sheep fetches some clippers, clips off some wool and makes a pillow for his head – much to the delight of Bear.

Imagine the power of analytics, when instead of prescribing the same solution that worked for another customer, another industry, another vendor, we simply stop, listen, think, and devise a solution that meets exactly what the business needs.

If my two year old can get it – why can’t we?

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland