Stomach burning and software

Post title - LIONblog

Yesterday I was discussing with a colleague of mine after an abundant Xmas meal. According to him “business intelligence is not adopted in small companies because managers act by their gut feelings and they would not trust software to help them in their decisions”.

At first I was inclined to attribute this conservative approach to the short-sightedness of managers, apparently too arrogant and proud to admit that they could be helped by data mining and business intelligence software. Then a ray of light entered my dusty brain (some moderate alcohol during the meal helped the transformation).

Could it be that it is not the managers but a lot of BI software that is too arrogant, or actually better said, developed by people who are too arrogant to acknowledge that “gut feels”, like all decisions based on sub-symbolic paths (not really “irrational” but “not explicitly rational”) are crucial in most business processes?

Could it be that many managers still rely largely on “gut feel” and factors such as intuition and experience because they feel that many software programs are too rigid and too superficial to deal with the complexities of most business decisions?

Could it be that our effort in “Learning and Intelligent OptimizatioN” is related to allowing some of the “gut feels” to be transferred to the software through learning processes guided by the decision maker?