Brad Pitt has taken business intelligence mainstream with his starring role in a movie where analytics save the day. Pitt’s movie, Moneyball, released by Sony Pictures in 2011, is helping to yank BI out of the tech-centric corners of an enterprise into a far broader, more glamorous role. In the film, analytics are the key to helping an underfunded, small-market group of castoffs could go toe-to-toe with the richest, most powerful competitors imaginable.

Moneyball is not another silver screen fable. It’s a real-life business parable. Pitt plays Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager who upended a century-long tradition of judging player potential by shifting away from the informal “gut” wisdom of baseball scouts and field managers. Instead, Beane pushed for data-driven, analytical methods to evaluate and choose good ballplayers, helping take an otherwise uncompetitive team into the playoffs. The success of analytics in Oakland has radically altered baseball. Now every team applies BI principles to drafting and trading players.

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