The Miss Universe index card disappointment

Is it just me or does the world seem to be getting less predictable? Case in point, the bizarre chain of events at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant this past December. While the pageant was going on inside a fancy Las Vegas hotel theatre, a woman, with a toddler in the car, plowed into a crowd of people on the street outside the hotel. She killed a young mother and injured dozens more.

But that’s not the story that grabbed the headlines. Inside, at the pageant, popular TV personality Steve Harvey crowned Miss Columbia as the new Miss Universe 2015. The problem was that the actual winner was Miss Philippines. Upon discovering his mistake, the crown was removed from the stunned Miss Columbia and placed atop the head of the embarrassed Miss Philipines. Harvey immediately apologized to the audience and life went on (albeit with speculation about how the producers instructed the host to make the crowning error to boost ratings).

Steve Harvey has a reputation as one of the good guys. He seemed visibly disturbed by the mixup and blamed the index card holding the names of the winners and runners up. He had all the information on the card. But the names and titles were displayed in a confusing manner. He just read the card incorrectly. I guess it’s fortunate that the crown was not publicly removed from the head of a beauty queen from a more belligerent state. But the damage was done. Reputations were damaged. Perhaps not irreparably. Still, it was an uncomfortable scene.

While neither the violence outside or the mix-up inside could have been predicted, both could possibly have been prevented. There is an enormous amount of information available for analysis. When it is presented logically and simply and when we need it, information is useful. But when there is so much information dumped in our laps, we don’t know what to do with it.

I’ve seen dashboards on the front end of business intelligence solutions that probably show all the answers… somewhere. But when analysts, executives and everyone in between needs answers and critical information for decision making, their efficiency and productivity can actually be reduced because of their BI front end. A smart BI solution is easily customizable and has visual representation tools like infographics that change as the data changes in real-time.

UntitledIf the events in Las Vegas a little while back taught us anything, it’s that life, like business, is unpredictable. But when surprises come your way, with the right information presented in the right way and the right time, you can step aside, figure out what’s going on and make good decisions quickly. Maybe the world seems more unpredictable because we have so much more information. Or maybe it’s just because we’re not always looking at that information in the right way.

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