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Analytics - a Treasure Hunt: Fad or Fact?

Treasure Hunt: A game of clues, and solutions …
As part of the Boy Scout club in primary school, I grew up in a world where our School-principal and Scout-leader immersed us in a mini cosmos of thought-creation through quests and contests, supplemented by puzzles and riddles to foster curiosity, and to learn. The curiosity reached its pinnacle in our outdoor camps where we were competing in a massive team hunt for physical treasure by way of riddles and hints that took us through a maze of hidden notes behind statues and gardens, into the wild and back into civilization…., that when solved through great difficulty but with chutzpah and fun, led to further riddles, hints…and questions…and solutions…failures and successes…., ultimately converging to an end state of having achieved a way-forward…. and a feeling of accomplishment!  The experience, time and again, left me with an unmatched level of learning and exposure, it brought our best to the forefront with a sharp ability to grasp, research, experiment, and execute. Not to mention an immense amount of team-play and drive….
Over the last 25 years after graduate-school, I would venture to say that the experience I had in my primary years is still as fresh as if it was just yesterday, amongst the one and all learning experiences that were underwent in multiple universities, companies, continents, and careers…. I felt privileged….it created a strong need to connect this back to an ability to enable the talent of businesses today differently. The thought was simple: if the business problems we face today were to be measured and played as a ‘treasure hunt’, our abilities to solve those problems could effectively be channelled over time to have an asymptotic convergence towards way forward. Having spent two decades in the field of applying data-analytics to solve business problems, the idea remained fresh and green for years….. till now….!
Learning: Taught or Experienced? A Balance?
Einstein once said “The only source of knowledge is experience”.  Through a reflection of over a quarter century of work, I have grown to appreciate the value of experiences to affirm that they indeed are the one of the best teachers.  If one rewinds one’s life’s journey and recollects all the experiences, large or small, and tries to connect the dots to reflect if those actually led to a path towards one’s goal, one would more often than not realize that the past experiences tremendously help in deciding for the next set of experiences leading towards the next….eventually where one wants to be or would like to be…. At times it has pushed me to compare life’s experiences with the game of ‘Treasure Hunt’; one clue leads you to another, till you converge to the treasure, of course, presenting its own set of complexities in the journey which can be thoroughly enjoyed if given the right perspective and mindset. Subjective though it may be, the “absolute” perspectives should start converging to a “relative reality” that is a fast moving target, and one which gets better and more informed continuously through this convergence, a balance.
Analytics - A case in Point:
In today’s quick moving and massively interconnected world, where there is little patience to wait to learn from one’s own mistakes, time and again one is pushed to learn from others’ experiences. The question revolves around what it takes to imbibe and do it the right way? While the world of today may be a bit on the unforgiving side, there is a significant cost associated with “not doing it right” the first time. Learning-by-listening/reading/seeing alone versus supplementing it with “learning-by-doing”, results in different outputs. “Awareness” and “Experience” are perhaps two disjoint sets and the fallacy of substituting one by the other has huge bearings. Whereas the highly networked world of today is accelerating our “awareness” by the day through the explosion of data being created by industries, machines, sensors, internet, social media, digital marketing, consumer trends, mobile, etc; it may also be taking away the opportunity to “experience” the world of today, but instead  trying to “follow” tomorrow constantly.  The field of ‘analytics’ which has been built on the premise of analysing data explosion does not seem to have progressed significantly yet in the evolution from ‘awareness’ to ‘experience’, from ‘technique/tool’ to ‘insightful application’.
Questions that kept coming up led me to believe that perhaps like one’s journey of life, ‘analytics’ too has a strong resemblance to a game of treasure hunt, especially so in the right perspectives of experiential learning. The buzz words of today include analytics, big data, predictive modeling, pattern recognition, and so on...  What is not well understood is the fact that ‘analytics’ is not a tool nor a process, but perhaps an ‘enabler of the ability to write a business story that can create a significant journey in the current known circumstances....’…. It is a mindset, perhaps even a culture. Analytics is truly a “blend of art and science”, perhaps more of an art than a science. It has an ever growing demand and need for talent that needs to take their highly acclaimed statistical, mathematical and engineering degrees to a new level of application and business impact. Art can only be honed through continuous application leading to meaningful experiences for the pursuit of excellence. The ambiguity of the opportunity to gain experience, and the latter creating the former, creates a gap that begets fulfilling.
Analyttica TreasureHunt™:

Our hypothesis is that learning applied and insightful analytics can be modelled successfully after the game of a treasure hunt. Certainly more than a fad, if not for a fact. A mindset needs to be ‘cultivated’, as much as made ‘aware’ for it to be second nature. This is achievable, as has been experimented by various leaders in their respective fields over the centuries. This success and my own experiments over the last two decades led me to take this to another level. After 10+ years of man-hour research and development efforts, and trying to understand how best to not just ‘create’, but ‘enable’ and ‘equip’ talent effectively in the space of advanced analytics and its applications in business, Analyttica has created its patent-pending solution called Analyttica TreasureHunt™ - a simulation based point-&-click knowledge immersion and knowledge sharing/management platform, built with a strong business exposure, backed by powerful technology and all-encompassing statistical/mathematical abilities with “guided intelligence”, for experiential learning of analytics – “learn by doing, learn by sharing, learn by experimenting”.  Simulators are widely used in learning and training, many are gamified to motivate the learner in teams. Take the airline industry where pilots train themselves even while on the job on a continuous basis. Analytics need not be any different. Against all odds, coming to life soon based on the belief that “experience is indeed one of the best teachers”…. for all of the analytics professionals, academia, and institutions worldwide, keen to know and understand from you, your valuable insights and perspectives, to make this treasure hunt better, bigger, and exciting….! Stay tuned, also do share your and your team’s/colleague’s thoughts on the above concept; will be glad to show you a sneak view of what has been in stealth mode so far if you are interested in enabling this together, or just want to follow this trend….! Take a look and try out a live simulation free of cost, or load your own data and play.

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