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World Cup Management: Data Or Intuition?
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Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2014 | 5:15:57 AM
Do we have to worry about that anymore?
"And what do you think about data-driven management? How do you pick the right data? Can you?"

Do we have to worry about that anymore? I mean, with all the talk about AI's supposedly meeting the Turing test, self-driving cars, and the singularity heading our way, I have to smile when I read about how people still have to figure out what to do with the data.

Which reminds me, I was looking at a Google map of my area. All of the store locations are off by a mile or two. I can't wait for Google self-driving cars, which will, I understand, be using that great already built map that Google has. I'll tell the car I want to go to the supermarket, and it will drop me off in the woods somewhere.

Can you imagine what would happen if Google were in charge of World Cup management? Their computers would instruct half the players to run to New Jersey.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 10:57:54 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
While we're on the topic of World Cup memories, back in 1998 I was in Mexico during the WC. They tied somebody --- maybe it was Italy, the masters of the tie --- and you would think they won the whole tournament. It was the middle of the day, and the entire city of Oaxaca shut down. Cars and people paraded throught the streets, blaring horns, shouting, laughing.
LUFU
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LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 7:11:06 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
Ha! An Arsenal fan will know they are never walking alone when they have someone blowing a Vuvuzela in their ear!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 7:08:40 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@lufu- I like the vuvuzelas. :)

Yes, I agree. There is a real joy and camraderie around soccer. I like the singing. I especially like how the Arsenal fans sing "You Never Walk Alone" win, lose, or draw. It seems like a nice sentiment. As long as there are Arsenal fans none of them is alone. 

OK, I'm getting overly sentimental about soccer now. :)
LUFU
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LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:56:47 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@David - I always get the sense there is more "joy" in fans (excluding the hooligans) for football AKA, soccer in the US, than other sports. The first time I got the sense of the game and its relevance was back in '78 in an Istanbul cafe without about 100 people congregating around a small black and white TV watching Argentina vs The Netherlands. None of us at the cafe were from those countries but everyone sided with one team or the other and were rooting them on with fervor and enthusiasm. It was a definite worldwide event.

Another time when the US was hosting the World Cup in '94, I was working near Los Gatos in California and that's where the Brazilian team was staying. Every night was Carnivale in Los Gatos with streets, bars, and restaurants just packed with Brazilians, fans, and a party-till-the-cows-come-home joie de vivre the town never experienced before or after.

But can we can the Vuvuzelas?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:14:07 PM
Re: Ja Wohl Deutschland!
@lufu- I suspect they'd help anyone who paid. But this does bring up the story I promised to tell about why I cheer for Italy.

Back a few World Cups ago, the US was on a little bit of a surprise run while I was living in Europe. The World Cup is a whole different level of reality in Europe. I watched most of the games in town squares across the continent with thousands of other fans watching big screen TVs. There was a crazy amount of singing and dancing and chanting. It was quite awesome.

However, while we were in Italy, the Italians were shockingly eliminated. We left the square (I think it was in Naples) and let the poor Italians mourn. We went into a restaurant that was entirely empty except for us. There were 8 servers (clealry they were expecting a celebration rush) all in the restaurant just looking sad. Then one of them came up to us and said, "Now that the Italians have been eliminated I'm pulling for USA to win the World Cup. Your team is very nice. You play the game very well."

In a moment of sports mourning, a perfect stranger took the time to say something nice about my team. And needless to say, Americans tourists aren't welcome everywhere. So unless it is the US vs Italy, I always cheer for Italy for a nice waiter at a little restaurant of a town square in Italy. 
LUFU
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LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 6:03:48 PM
Ja Wohl Deutschland!
Well, SAP just alienated some of their World Cup customers by helping out Germany. Maybe Larry Ellison should kick in some support for the US team to balance the playing field. Or they could  throw-in some pro bono consulting support to Ecuador (#32 rank) to demonstrate real-time data management. Just a thought.
jastro
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jastro,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2014 | 5:21:13 PM
Meet the New Game, Same as the Old Game
>> I'm saying that, to make a good data-driven decisions, you need good data, and good data is found, not in its bigness, but in its rightness. And that's going to take your intuition, whether you like it or not, to figure out what's good and what's bad.

>> But at the same time, you can't assume your intuition is enough.

@dave  --  It sounds like you are looking for the perfect world. Forget Billy Beane. Beane is now Brad Pitt. Here's a quote from Joe Ripp, CEO, Time Magazine:

>>"I can't fix it," Mr. Ripp has said repeatedly in meetings with senior managers. "You have to figure out a way to fix it."

That's yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 4:44:43 PM
Re: Whose intuition
@Lorna- Exactly. Which is why management will never really die in the face of data. I think data scientists working for IT can help, but they can never replace the understand of the business. As with everything else in IT, it should be there to serve and transform the business, not act on its behalf. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 4:40:58 PM
Whose intuition
The problem to me is that deciphering signal from noise in big data sets is not a job for IT. It's a job for someone intimately familiar with the business. However, how often is it someone in IT deciding what data feeds to add to a dashboard?
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