»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

When CI rules

Dear marketing, we business people don’t need ISO norms or balance sheet guidelines to understand things better. Therefore please leave the color red to us. Because it means something. The same thing that it means everywhere else – namely, danger.

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Gold mine or mine disaster?

The expectations for data mining were very high. Its new methods were supposed to automatically uncover the buried information treasures in databases. Now, the German magazine ‘Wirtschaftsinformatik’ has reprinted an article on this subject in its 50th anniversary commemorative issue. What better reason to look back at 16 years of data mining!

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Traffic light charts – A black-or-white world (just in color)

Traffic lights in charts are junk. They portray the world in black or white – just using red and green instead. Because they use a bit of threshold voodoo, some people consider them to be an “intellectual” form of chart junk. That makes them even more dangerous – for report authors and consumers alike. And the worst part of it all? The alternatives are so simple.

Friday, February 1st, 2008

An arrow is no plus sign!

When managers and statistics collide, less is often more. In general, however, there are not enough statistics in data visualizations. The only requirement is that they need to be robust.

Friday, December 7th, 2007

If you only treat your customers as kings, you might fool them!

Getting crowned is not always an honor. And those who are doing the honors don’t always take the ceremony seriously. Of course, it isn’t always quite as extreme as receiving a crown of thorns, but it isn’t necessary helpful either. If you give customers a product that isn’t challenging for them, what good will it bring in the long run? That’s the truth, but only a fool (or in this case, a jester) would admit it.

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Management accountants should be good jugglers

Management accounting is a real balancing act. One shouldn’t make decisions for the senior management but is expected to be a consultant, an IT expert, and much more. How can management accountants learn to master this balancing act?

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Can we steer banks like cars?

Sachsen LB could have at least tried to. Their board of directors trusted a few traffic lights. They were usually green, but now all German taxpayers see is red.

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Statistical thinking vs. statistical rituals, Part II

What constitutes statistical thinking? As we take another look at our margarine marketing example, we find that the key is just plain commonsense.

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Statistical thinking vs. statistical rituals, Part I

Means are often used as the sole representation to characterize distributions for a collective of data. Yet, these types of shortsighted visualization are highly dangerous. How can we present data so that it reveals more than it conceals – and still makes sense to managers?

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Death to the ritual of significance tests!

If you claim that something is “statistically significant”, your audience will usually be all ears. For many people the term signalizes a type of soothing assurance. We contend that significance is not a matter of coincidence but simply what we wanted to measure in the first place. Misinterpretations of significant results are common. At the end of the day, you need to make your own conclusions. There are no statistical methods that can do this for you.


Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.