Black Swans and White Elephants

Another ETIS presentation from Istanbul in Octovber 2009

This presentation looks at the Return on Investment in Business Intelligence projects

Return on Investment is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

Black Swans are —High-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events beyond the realm of normal expectations. The term Black Swan comes from the 17th century European assumption that ‘All swans are white’. In that context, a black swan was a symbol of something that was impossible or could not exist. In the 18th Century, the discovery of black swans in Western Australia metamorphosed the term to connote that a perceived impossibility may actually come to pass.

—A white elephant is a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness. The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian rulers. To possess a white elephant was (and still is)  regarded as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labour, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favour, and a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.

Look at how these two factors affect Return on investment in Business Intelligence solutions

Download Black Swans and White Elephants now

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