Big data alone is not enough for an agile enterprise

Ever get a promotional email or ad that has no relevance to you? We all have, and it’s usually due to the marketing algorithms used to analyze big data inputs responding incorrectly to the wrong signal. For example, eBay started applying algorithms to the tags used to track customers in 2007 to measure the relevance of search results on its site. After a couple of years of success, the results became less accurate and seemed more random and arbitrary. The algorithms no longer worked because one of the tags had shifted. Events like that one resulted in customers seeing search results or receiving marketing emails that made no sense to them.
“The algorithm is not a human brain and doesn’t realize that the parameters have changed when tags change,” Ratzesberger observed. If a change is made to a variable, everything “downstream” from that variable must change, too, or the complex results can backfire.

The solution to this entire problem of achieving agility at scale is the Sentient Enterprise, a concept that Ratzesberger developed with Dr. Mohan Sawhney, a professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 
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