Eagles and AQ Leaders

This past weekend, my friend Bernhard took me to an amazing place in the Bavarian Alps. High up in the mountains above the famous town of Berchtesgaden you will find a small colony of actors. No, not your normal type of actor. Actually, birds of prey. Yes, there is a guy up there who works with eagles, owls and vultures. He cares for them and trains them for movie productions. And he opens up his small but amazing operation for people.


Agility & Power

Amongst the most interesting birds in this small setup are the different eagles. Eagles are pretty amazing birds when you think about it. They are extremely fast and they have amazing eye sight partly thanks to their rather large pupils. To see them fly and hunt for food is impressive. It seems like they are guided by a high-precision laser device. These guys know their targets extremely well and they know how to execute. I would not want to be a mouse when you see them. “Powerful” is the best word to describe them. No wonder, many cultures have adopted the eagle as a national symbol.


IBM recently introduced the concept of the Analytics Quotient (AQ). Organizations must have a high AQ to survive and thrive. Watching the eagles fly and hunt reminded me of an organization with a high AQ. They are called Leaders and the IBM AQ White Paper describes them as:

“These organizations are typified by VP-level accountability, with defined operational and financial metrics across more than one department. These organizations can combine data from various systems to achieve a cohesive view of conditions. Integrated, driver-based planning aligns resources, and predictive models are used to evaluate “what if” performance and risk scenarios. They have formalized a center of excellence with roles and responsibilities, a shared service environment, standard technologies and processes and a strong  community of stakeholders who regularly evaluate and revise strategies and priorities.”

In other words – Leaders are like eagles: They have excellent vision which allows them to identify risks and opportunities, they are extremely agile, they know how to execute and they are very successful as a result. They are killing it. Novices are likely to fall prey to these organizations.

This guy is a leader. He eats Novices for breakfast.


Over the past ten years, I had the opportunity to see many organizations transform themselves from Novices to Leaders. All that within just a few years. They replace their spreadsheets with advanced Business Analytics software. Instead of spending up to 75% of their time on manual tasks like data collection and spreadsheet maintenance, they are now able to focus on the really fun stuff: performing analysis, running what-if scenarios and spending time with important things. It is a very different world. A project manager recently remarked that he would not want to go back to a ‘Novice’ stage. The ability to analyze numbers, to test what-if questions is just very powerful. To get an appreciation for this, take a look at some of the customer stories we have collected for the AQ quiz.


Do you want to see what it feels like to have the eagle eyes of a Leader? You can! Join one of our Business Analytics Experience workshops. These workshops allow you to run a fictitious company called ‘Futurechips’. You and your team will be able to analyze this business, to make decisions and to find out how those decisions affect the overall results. The workshop is actually a game and it is a lot of fun. It will leave you with many valuable ideas for turning your company into an AQ Leader.

Remember: Being the eagle is a lot more comfortable than being hunted by them. Being a leader (high AQ) pays off! Being hunted by them is very scary.

P.S.: Do you want to see why Leaders are superior to Novices? Here is story.