I Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

Sometimes things happen in life that allow my business world and personal world to collide. Recently I was asked by my neighborhood Boy Scout Troop to be the Scoutmaster. I have been a lifelong supporter of the ideals and values that Scouting teaches boys and I am an Eagle Scout. I also have always wanted to get a big truck, and saw this as a perfect convergence of truck-justification and a chance to give something back to the community. The truck-buying journey drilled home a lesson in business intelligence analytics which was unexpected.

Luckily my terrific wife also allowed the leap of logic—every Scoutmaster needs a big truck, right?I Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

Near my home is a truck specialty dealer called Watts Automotive. They only carry good-looking, low mileage, full-size pickup trucks; each with a nice set of tires and a lift of some sort. Watts knows who they are and what they sell, and as a result, they are very successful.

Truck Infatuation

I wandered the lot and found the biggest truck I had ever seen. It was beautiful. It had such a tall lift I could barely get into it. It was incredible.

The interior was immaculate, the mileage was low for the model year, and the tires were massive.

This was one of the manliest trucks I had ever seen. It was the one for me.

I drove the truck down the road and felt like a superhero. I took a selfie in the truck and sent it to my wife.

I had to have this truck.

By chance, I noticed that there were four CDs in the disk changer. I thought, “I wonder what type of person owned this truck before me?” Not exactly the truck version of business intelligence analytics, but maybe the music would give me a clue.

Heartbreak and Disillusionment

I selected disk one and turned up the radio. What came out the speakers was the most unholy noise I had ever heard in my life.

Even though I am a life-long rocker and hair-band aficionado, this “music” was total garbage to my ears. Dissonant guitar matched with unintelligible screaming and the noise dripped with anger. I quickly punched eject on the radio and looked at disbelief at the CD. The band was called Five Finger Death Punch

I thought to myself, “Anyone can have one bad CD. Let’s see what disk number two has on it.” To my chagrin, it was just as bad as the first, but seemed even angrier.

I reluctantly tried disk number three and was quite relieved to find Eminem. At least that was a band I recognized.

As I turned around to head back to the dealership, I knew I couldn’t buy this truck. My head was spinning with the following thoughts:

  1. The previous owners were convicted felons.
  2. They were the type of people who went back and hit road kill a second time.
  3. They were the type of people who said rude things to the elderly and didn’t follow the rules of the road.

I was convinced (likely totally unfairly) that these people didn’t care about anything or anyone.

Here’s why: I didn’t have the truck version of business intelligence analytics. Instead I had anecdotal evidence.

How could I expect the previous owners of the manliest truck on Earth to change the oil on a regular basis and make sure the maintenance schedule was strictly followed when they had such a blatant disregard for basic society and common decency?

As I pulled into the lot, the salesman asked if I liked the truck. I admitted I did … until I found out that the previous owners were total degenerates. As a result, I couldn’t possibly buy it.

He asked how I knew so much about the previous owners and I played for him part of the first track on disk one. He, too, bristled at the cacophony that came from the stereo, then he suggested I try another truck.

The Kind of Truck You Could Spend the Rest of Your Life WithI Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

I selected a nice maroon Ford F-350 with a little smaller lift. The interior was also immaculate and the miles were a little higher than the black truck, but there was a pleasant “new car” smell even though the truck was six years old.

It drove really smoothly and seemed to have been babied by the previous owners. There was a meticulously documented service record tucked into the glove box.

I checked the CD changer to see if I could tell what the previous owners listened to, but alas, there were no CDs.

Then I had an idea! What about the radio presets? It was worth a try.

I turned on the stereo and the next sound I heard sold me that truck on the spot. It was set to an “oldies” station and I heard Anne Murray’s hit song “You Needed Me.”

Anne’s beautiful voice told me all I needed to know.

Surely the previous owners were a loving couple who took their 5th-wheel trailer around the country to visit their grandkids and to do charitable service. They gave blood regularly and were never late returning a library book. They were soft-spoken and kind to animals.

These were the people who lovingly took care of this truck before I came along to buy it. Needless to say, I bought the F-350 that day and have been very happy every day I drive it.

The Moral: Business Intelligence Analytics and Smart Decisions

So what does this teach us about having the right analytics to make the right decisions regarding the technology we buy and implement?

If we don’t have data, we are just guessing at the truth.

VXSuite is a cloud-based analytics toolkit that helps our partners fulfill the promise of Unified Communications: Talking to who I want, where I want, on the device that I want, all while protecting the quality of the user experience.

Our partners use VXSuite to help their customers buy technology smarter, deploy that technology faster, and ensure the end-user has a spectacular experience.

Getting the right business intelligence analytics, precisely at the moment we are trying to make a decision, is paramount to making good choices. I am not sure if the data I inferred about the previous owners of the trucks I test-drove was accurate, but it sure made a difference in what I bought.

Imagine if your customers could get business intelligence analytics about their network performance, their user-adoption of a new technology, or their chosen bandwidth provider in near-real-time. Now imagine they could use that information to make better technology decisions.

Imagine if your sales team could provide meaningful business intelligence analytics during the sales process to differentiate your offerings and make the customer sticky after the sale?

That is precisely what VXSuite enables for our partners every day. To learn more go to www.vxsuite.com and request a demo of our world-class suite of UC analytics products.

Doug Tolley (15 Blog Posts)

Doug Tolley is the Business Development Director for LVM, Inc. He has 20 years of experience in Business Development, Sales and Consulting, and Project Management in a wide variety of businesses with a primary emphasis on IT.