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Data should drive your business. We’re big proponents of this concept. What happens when data intelligence is all but ignored? Hollywood has some great examples. Here are ten fictional companies that desperately need better data & business intelligence.

10. Umbrella Corporation – Resident Evil

Umbrella CorporationOverall, Umbrella seems to be running well. How many companies can continue to operate after an apocalypse? But some simple consumer projections should show rapidly dwindling demand (ie. eaten or zombified). By the third movie/game, there doesn’t seem to be enough humans left to justify all the R&D, and that’s sort of important to move a product.

 

9. Hogwarts – Harry Potter

HogwartsSure, “magic” will cover over a lot of business foibles. However, the Harry Potter world clearly has a monetary system and the jury is out on whether Hogwarts charges tuition, so there is some financial accountability to be had and who knows where all that gold is going (Dumbledore seems to wear really nice clothes, no?). Not to mention that they appear to have poor data on their employees and students…or even how many students there are.

 

8. McDuck Industries – Duck Tales, Uncle Scrooge

Scrooge Money BinThat damn money bin. Come on. Not only would some basic data intelligence show that idle money only loses value due to inflation (though probably offset by Scrooge’s investment in pure gold coins), but think of how much time McDuck could save by running tracking software on his revenue instead of manually counting coins during his daily swim. Sure, he enjoys counting his loot, but factor in how stressed McDuck is over losing even a single cent and it’s clear he needs automated data monitoring.

And if McDuck Industries is a public company…yikes.

 

7. Omni Consumer Products – Robocop

Omni Consumer ProductsPrivatizing some services in a city might work. Garbage collection? Sure. Hospitals? Uh, well… Police? …OK. OCP tries to privatize the entire city of Detroit into Delta City with every “citizen” needing to own stock in the company. That’s a lot of data to keep track of. Not only that, nearly everyone in upper management is corrupt, yet their super-soldier is programmed with these three prime directives: 1) serve the public trust, 2) protect the innocent, and 3) uphold the law. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. OCP needs to have their data in the cloud, so a rogue robotic cop can’t make its own ethical computations and bring down the entire company.

With extreme prejudice.

 

6. SkyNet – Terminator

SkyNetOk so maybe cloud computing doesn’t always work. The human creators of SkyNet definitely drop the ball here with their data intelligence. They must have seen their A.I. getting smarter and smarter, consuming more and more bandwidth, growing far more intelligent than any human. Look what happened when the stock market was briefly held hostage by technology, and they want to let military intelligence be controlled by A.I.? We’re all for automating data intelligence, but we like to leave the actionable items to humans.

 

5. Weyland-Yutani – Alien

weyland-yutaniCan anyone explain the cost/benefit formula here? Weyland-Yutani finds the Xenomorphs (yes, the aliens are not just called Aliens) and thinks they can make a buck using them as biological weapons. Really? They already have spaceships. Can’t they deliver a nuke to anywhere in the solar system? They also have this thing:

Aliens 3 Power Loader

This thing isn’t even meant to be a weapon and it can hold its own against a Xenomorph queen. Weaponize that. And this was the third attempt out of four (so far) to weaponize the Aliens. In their fourth attempt, they perfect cloning. Can’t even one pencil pusher notice that goldmine? We’re pretty sure the ability to clone a human, including his/her memories, will be somewhat in demand. Another example of a corporation not understanding its customer base.

 

4. Wayne Enterprises – Batman

Wayne EnterprisesWayne Enterprises is a public company. Basic data intelligence should point out where billions and billions of dollars disappear to whenever the Dark Knight shows up with a new wonderful toy.

So much for the secret identity.

 

3. Acme Corporation – Wile E. Coyote

ACMEEvery product either malfunctions, isn’t clearly labeled, or punches physics in its face. Better data intelligence should show a dwindling (and disfigured) customer base for ACME, highlight product quality issues for its entire catalogue, reveal the exorbitant cost of delivering giant products to the middle of the desert, and doing business with a coyote. Then again, ACME may actually be just a subsidiary of RoadRunner Corporation. Mind blown.

 

2. The Galactic Empire – Star Wars

Galactic EmpireLet’s set aside the fact that the Death Star had a singular point of weakness that undermined all its raw power. After all, the flaw was indeed discovered, then ignored. Let’s focus on the fact that they made another one. We’re a big fan of iteration, but this is obscene. If anything, this second Death Star was even easier to destroy seeing as the hatch this time was large enough to actually fly into. Who told Palpatine/Sidious this was a good idea, the Sarlacc Pit? Why didn’t their data intelligence nix this idea, or at least revamp it? Why did Palpatine reveal the location of the actual shield generator instead of a decoy? We can barely contain our nerd rage.

 

1. Bluth Company – Arrested Development

Bluth Company

 

 

 

…You know, for this one? We wouldn’t have it any other way.

See what our data intelligence tool can do for your very non-fictional business.

Samuel Clemens
Sam is founder and chief of product & marketing for InsightSquared. Previously, Sam was VP Product at HubSpot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the founding team at Elance.com. His background also includes venture capital with Greylock Partners, the Algorithms group at Amazon.com, and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sam has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. In his off time he dives shipwrecks in the New England area.
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  • Mike

    (Skynet) “We’re all for automating data intelligence, but we like to leave the actionable items to humans.” Nice!!

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