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Actionable Intelligence: A Guide to Delivering Business Results with Big Data Fast! by Keith B. Carter, Donald Farmer, Clifford Siegel

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Chapter 2 Discovery of the Business Situation (Business Discovery)

Key Points and Questions

  • Answer sponsored strategic questions all the time.
  • Taking too long to answer a question results in lost opportunities.
  • Good business leaders ask questions so they can guide their business to become great.
  • Great business leaders prioritize their questions and dedicate resources to find the answers. They create and sustain the capabilities to make fact-based decisions.

In the late 1400s, wars and bandits around the key trade routes through the Middle East to Asia made it difficult for the Europeans to travel to India and China. Christopher Columbus believed there was a shorter route to Asia that could be found by traveling in the opposite direction. In order to prove his great theory, he set off in search of sponsors and support. He took his plans to the kings of Portugal, Genoa, and Venice. He was rejected by all. He even asked his brother to seek an audience with Henry VII of England, but to no avail.

In 1486, when he went to the Spanish monarchy of Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, they were skeptical about his ideas. However, they saw the potential in Christopher Columbus and wanted to keep their options open. They kept him on a retainer with monthly allowances to prevent him from taking his plans to others.

When the Spanish army finally took over the last Muslim stronghold in Granada in January 1492, Christopher Columbus was finally given the opportunity he had been ...

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