If it’s March, it must be time for March Madness, the annual college basketball lollapalooza that compels untold millions of people across the country to try and predict the outcome of a 64-team tournament (not including play-in games) in hopes of winning the office or online pool and all the glory and money that goes with it. The beauty (and perhaps irony) of March Madness is that no one – not the college basketball junkie, not the office nerd, not even the analytics guru well-versed in predictive analytics who studies “bracketology” (all three may be the same person) – knows the outcome in advance, so anyone has an equal chance of winning . . . or do they?
As the editor of Analytics magazine (as well as OR/MS Today, the membership magazine of INFORMS), we naturally sing the praises of the analytics profession, and tend to take it for granted that the world understands and appreciates all that analytics offers. And then along comes Charles Barkley, a basketball Hall of Famer now doing commentary for TBS in conjunction with telecasts of NBA games, to shake us out of our complacency.
I enjoy maturity and evolution models of all kinds, especially for business. As the name implies, maturity models for information technologies or management accounting practices, for example, have stages of development that provide confidence that regardless of the model’s current stage – low or high – there is always a next step up that can be attained in an evolutionary way.
The final leg of horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes, was held this past Saturday. The favored horse, I’ll Have Another, was scratched due to a leg injury. For gamblers who would likely to have bet on I’ll Have Another for the Belmont, maybe this saved them some money. Why? I will get to that in a moment.