Podcast: The Platform Episode 4
Prepare for the intelligent future
The first series has the theme "Prepare for the intelligent future". Together with Michael Morton VP, Dell Fellow, Dell Technologies Data Strategy and Development, Mike Veldhuis talks about how to transform your company into an intelligent business. Listen through your favorite podcast app (Spotify here) or watch via YouTube.
The Platform Website: https://www.nalta.com/theplatform
All Nalta Blogs: https://www.nalta.com/blog
Host, Mike Veldhuis
Guest, Michael J. Morton
Mike Veldhuis 0:00
You are listening to the platform. podcast to learn about our digital world. I am Mike Veldhuis, partner at Nalta.com.
Michael Morton 0:11
I'm Michael Morton, VP of Dell Technologies, data management and intelligence in Dell Technologies fellow.
Mike Veldhuis 0:19
Welcome, listeners to what is the final episode of this podcast series. And of course, we'll continue with a new theme with a new guest. But today, I still have Michael Morton, in the studio there in North Carolina. And today, we're going to talk about propel perfection. And before we kick off, probably it's good to have a thought about the definition of business intelligence or the intelligent business. What would be your phrase? What would be your idea about this definition?
Michael Morton 1:10
The intelligent business?
Mike Veldhuis 1:11
Michael Morton 1:15
That's a really good question. So here's my answer. By the way, it's a little sad that this is our last session it is. But it's always very fun to do this very fun. Okay, the intelligent business. Make it simple. It's not the definition, by the way. Here it is. The ability to quickly turn data into business outcomes. So a very simple phrase. Now you'll notice I didn't say, quickly turn data into business insights, because you've heard me say in the upper, the other episodes, continuously, it's producing insights is one thing. But you don't get results until you have an outcome from your insights. That's very important and quickly is, once you're a well humming machine as a business, the name of the game for competitiveness is how quickly can you now generate insights that produce business outcomes, there'll be successes, there'll be failures. It's this vicious life cycle that keeps going and going and going. But finally, it really genuinely is. How to quickly turn data into business outcomes.
Mike Veldhuis 2:36
I love it. I really love it. But sometimes people get mistaken by interchanging intelligence with analytics, and that's something I wanted to discuss with you as well. So there is a difference between business intelligence and business analytics. What's the difference?
Michael Morton 2:58
Well, Business Analytics is a practice, right? It's a practice where you are applying technology, knowledge, tools, models, data, to analyse what it is that you're trying to achieve. So that is a practice which is necessary to get to a business outcome.
Mike Veldhuis 3:26
Makes sense? Makes sense. So we're here at Episode Four. And we're building this intelligent business, we're helping our audience to get there. The previous episodes episode number three, we have the checklist. So how are we going to get going? And in this episode, we really want to address we took off we got our first project or MVP. And now we want to continuously improve, and what kind of an environment should we create to actually achieve this goal? And what is perfection? This episode is called propel perfection. But what is perfection? For you, Michael?
Michael Morton 4:12
perfection, is it achievable?
Mike Veldhuis 4:14
I don't think so. That's the sad story. You know, it's like, it's not a state. It's not a state of perfection. It's like a goal.
Michael Morton 4:23
That's right. And you use the word evolution to that's, that, to me is the key word. Evolution, right? Because it is you're always evolving. You, your culture will never be complete. You're gonna have people leave the company, people come in, you're going to have skills, the business conditions are going to change the climate is going to change your data availability and trust is going to change. It's just this perpetual, never constant environment. So to me, it's, it's, it is something that you you strive for You make improvements, that's the most important thing is, is you fail to make improvement. So perfection is the the end goal, that you're incrementally making improvements. So for example, you, you, we talk about silos, right? A very popular word that people think top data silos, right? People are silos. People have knowledge,
Mike Veldhuis 5:25
businesses are silos. That's exactly
Michael Morton 5:26
everything's a silo. So evolution is continuing to converge and get those silos to share to collaborate. So you have the people, you have the data, once you evolve, so that those silos become less and less, or more and more transparent. Now you're getting just a little bit closer to perfection. So evolution is continuing to etch at those things.
Mike Veldhuis 5:53
The funny thing is, when you're telling me this, the idea, the following idea pops up in into my head. It's like the business with all his assets and people and surroundings in the community it's living in it's like an organism. It's like a living organism. And you mentioned in the previous episode, like data being born. It's like companies and business models being born with their life cycle. And so we have this living thing, a business that is evolving, and trying to become perfect, you know, does it make sense?
Michael Morton 6:46
First of all, you know, I love visuals, because I'll throw these things out once in a while. And I've often discovered, I've often talked about planet data. It is a living organism with blood vessels, right? And what is it transporting, transporting data? Not blood, of course, was transporting data. So, indeed, I love to think about that. As I as I look out my window. I see the blood vessels, I mean of the world to see, I mean, to me, I see that I see the data. I mean, it's, it is the nature of business that it is, it is always changing. Always, there's new blood vessels, some blood vessels are ending. It's just this continuous evolution I mean, of, of the data lifecycle.
Mike Veldhuis 7:35
That, I love it. And I want to touch a couple of words, a couple of phrases, just to throw them up, you know, we got the definition of the intelligent business. It's clear. It's about achieving outcomes from data and do it quickly. Right? Yep. But how can we create an environment that we propel perfection? So we keep it going? It's like innovation, you know, it's like continuously innovate your company, using digital using people? A couple of words. Empowerment. What does it do for you? If you hear empowerment?
Michael Morton 8:29
I immediately think of eliminating the constraints that people might have to produce business insights and business outcomes. Okay, that's what I think of cool. Do you like it? I like to work. I like
Mike Veldhuis 8:45
It a lot. And I would link it to and it sounds probably a little bit weird. But I would like to link it to honesty. You know, so empowering people to do things they have never done before. It's it's a journey, which has rocky, winding roads ahead of you. You're not very clear, where are we going to get but you got these Northstar, the perfection, becoming the intelligent business. And you need honesty, you have to actually tell each other right or wrong, good or false success or failure. And to not feel ashamed of it, because you're all together on this journey. Silos you mentioned mentioned them before. Most of the time, we're looking at silos, silos within the company. And I think when we're talking about intelligent businesses, we're talking about ecosystems of businesses. living organisms that live together in communities exchanging data. So I think one of the conditions of continuously improving is removing the silos within your company, and outside of your company.
Michael Morton 10:17
I would like to make a comment on honesty, I enjoy the luxury of having just a moment to think about honesty, as you as you now talk about, you know, the ecosystem. So let's talk about honesty for just a moment.
Mike Veldhuis 10:35
Michael Morton 10:36
something for listeners to think about. There is two phrases that are used, or, let's say, increasingly being used, which are very simple phrases, but it does make you think that's the whole point of us is to help you maybe think differently. So let's talk about honesty. There's these phrases that are referred to as explainable AI and explainable data, which are very important explainable AI is the ability to explain how did you arrive at the answer that you produce from data? Because bias is a very challenging area to overcome. So explainable AI is you now have a result, maybe from big data, small data, little data doesn't matter, but you've produced the result for the business. But can you explain it? That, to me, is almost equivalent to honesty? Like, can you make a sound business decision? Is it an honest answer, it's explainable, explainable data is, in addition to explainable AI is can you please explain the data that went into that AI? that's also very important, you and I've, we've already talked about this, can you trust it? Where did it come from? What's its legacy? What's his pedigree? You know, is it violating data privacy practices, you know, etc, etc. So explainable data and explainable AI, I would say, are the technical phrases that ultimately would produce honesty?
Mike Veldhuis 12:05
I love it. I love honesty in the context of data. Yep. Three words. Do it quickly. You heard them often, I think they're very important in the context of continuously and propelling perfection. And those those are continuously learning, surveying what you're doing. And this is corny, feedback loop. And what I'm trying to say, is, you're on this path of becoming the intelligent business, really assess what is happening in your company, what is happening with your people? Are you enabling them enough to keep up with all those changes? And are you able to, to intervene, you know, to have the proper actions to steer? And to make sure you stay on the correct path?
Michael Morton 13:04
Can I add to that
Mike Veldhuis 13:05
use of course ?
Michael Morton 13:05
Again, you know, I may come up with something that is controversial, or just to make you think I would add to your list another one. I want you to continuously fail.
Mike Veldhuis 13:20
Michael Morton 13:22
And I want it but the name of the game is this. I want you to fail as fast as you can. Because failure. Yes, it's cliche. We've noticed and written in a lot of books, but especially when it comes to processing data to to analyse it to produce an insight, you know, that you would feed into an outcome. But if you can fail fast, I think that you are getting closer to perfection.
Mike Veldhuis 13:49
Okay, I'm gonna tie a couple of things that we discussed in the past episodes. data being born, the living organism we talked about. Celebrating wins. We talked about that in Episode Three. And the thing I want to share with you now is the concept of the project funeral. Have you ever heard about the project funeral?
Michael Morton 14:17
No, but you could imagine that I'm already forming my opinion about it. First of all, I like I like the phrase a little morbid, but I do like the phrase. And I've already forged my opinion about what does it mean?
Mike Veldhuis 14:28
It's not something I came up with. It's was part of a book I was, I was reading or listening. I am a fan of audible. The book is the serendipity mindset. And they discussed the concept of the project funeral. I'm not going to repeat the the example if people are interested. I will share it with them. But the concept is projects fail. That's part of innovation. That's part of aiming for perfection, right? That's what you just said and the cool concept of the project funeral is that you have to celebrate wins but when things go wrong get all people involved into that project and everybody that wants to pay respect to the project that was a failure that didn't win because you can learn so much from failure as you can win from wins you know and think that's so important because it ties to honesty that we're not judging when something goes wrong we're actually celebrating that you took the chance to change and to aim for a better business future and for for me that's one of the the highlights of reading of the past months the concept of the project funeral I highly believe in it
Michael Morton 15:59
i'm very optimistic by nature can i reword that project rebirth instead of project funeral
Mike Veldhuis 16:05
you can and and the example itself is like the birth of a new project because you talk about the failure we're getting to the end of the podcast series where we with a lot of passion and with a lot of fun we we talked about so many facets of this journey becoming the intelligent business we talked about data and the importance of the data driven companies but we try to share that it doesn't stop there that's only just a part of stepstone into this great journey of becoming a grown up organism that is an intelligent business do you have anything to add to that Michael
Michael Morton 16:58
never stopped trying embrace failures company culture to me is probably amongst the top if not top you've heard me say in previous episodes i'm i think the two greatest investments that need to be made is the culture and data governance
Mike Veldhuis 17:26
i love it and listeners we have a little surprise we're gonna end with a master class actually when you listen carefully i already announced it in the first episode so it's not that big of a surprise but i got the date right here and that's the 29th of April michael and me and maybe probably another guest or two will do a presentation online where there is the ability to ask questions so we have a q&a and in that workshop masterclass will delve delve even deeper into the intelligent business to data everything we covered in those four episodes and i want to thank you Michael was a lot of fun
Michael Morton 18:12
thank you very much for having me this was very enjoyable it's it was really is really great really great
Mike Veldhuis 18:20
thanks for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai