Time travel. An analyst who can travel back and forth through time could perform experiments by changing variables and seeing the effects. They could continue to repeat their experiments for sensitivity analysis. What works best?
Invisibility. An analyst who is invisible can listen to conversations of existing and potential customers and stakeholders. With this information, he or she can learn these constituents’ interests and their opinions about your organization and can listen for customer sentiments – somewhat like text analytics – of your organization and competing or similar ones.
Telepathy. An analyst who can read minds would be able to determine in advance what customers want in terms of products, solutions and services. To take that a step further, with mind control an analyst can influence what another person is thinking, which is handy if a person is rejecting the findings of the analyst.
Flight. An analyst who can soar to great heights and get a holistic view with perspective can better see what is really happening. How are customer demand patterns changing? How are supply chains being obstructed?
Magic ring. An analyst with such a tool can influence desired results. He or she can determine an effective marketing message or campaign and then guide people to observe it and thus favorably respond to it.
Convert energy into an alternative force. An analyst who can, for example, convert sun rays into electrical power or lines of computer code would have substantially greater capabilities to be productive.
Teleportation. An analyst who can spontaneously disappear and reappear elsewhere could dynamically attend planning meetings or be with different customers or stakeholders. This speed of light transportability would allow the analyst to traverse to many locations to share insights or to empower others to make better decisions.
Technopathy/telekinesis. An analyst who can influence machines, including information technology, can direct equipment and technology to produce better results. An analyst could move objects can reposition instruments like kiosks into more ideal locations to capture data or rearrange items on retail shelves to test for better consumer purchases.
Weaken the power or influence of others. An analyst who can reduce the authority of others who might be obstacles to applying the insights gained from analytics can lead the organization to better decisions and performance.
Precognition. An analyst who has a crystal ball power to observe the future arguably possesses the most “super” of potential superpowers. He or she can plan and innovate in anticipation of what customers will want and be able to see how competitors will respond.
Which Superpower Would you Choose?
Any of these superpowers (and others that I have not listed) could be fun and perhaps a bit scary. My choice would be the ability to see and alter the future. Of course, the premise is that by seeing the future, changes can be made in the present that will alter the future.
However, does an analyst really need this superpower? With today’s predictive analytics software, in many cases analysts can already get a reasonably accurate sense of the future. At a minimum, they can advance from testing possibilities to probabilities, which is a more quantitative approach to assessing outcomes.
Will Hollywood create a blockbuster film about analysts with superpowers? Maybe someone out there with a crystal ball can let us know.
Gary Cokins is the founder of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC, an advisory firm. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker and author in advanced cost management and performance improvement systems previously a principal consultant with SAS. You can contact him at email@example.com. For more of Cokins' unique look at the world, visit his website at www.garycokins.com.