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Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844266
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Frank and Magnone have created an insightful and groundbreaking model that will likely be built upon for years to come. As data continues to grow exponentially, useful information remains elusive. The framework presented herein presents a methodology that is critical for separating the knowledge from the noise and then shows how to apply it to make more effective business decisions.”
—John C. Rizzuto, vice president of research, Gartner
 
“Frank and Magnone have done us all a great service in providing seven profound questions that help us reorient our default obsession with data generation and analysis to starting with (and learning to love) data interpretation and meaning. Buy a copy for yourself—read it twice. Then buy a second copy for your boss.”
—Ron Crossland, coauthor of The Leader’s Voice and former vice chair, Tom Peters Company
 
“Frank and Magnone have written a remarkably accessible book that covers all of the core topics to get the most out of your data. Simple enough for MBA students to quickly grasp critical business skills and rich enough to be useful to seasoned managers and business leaders transforming their companies, with clear advice and practical examples.” —Dev Mukherjee, senior vice president, Sears Holdings
 
“This is a provocative, practical, insightful, and timely book. In the new world of data flooding, data and information often exist before the business question is formed. Frank and Magnone cleverly propose a set of important questions one should ask in order to convert data and information into insights and actions.”
—Professor Oded Netzer, Columbia Business School
 
“Too many business leaders are overwhelmed and drowning. If that sounds familiar, this book can be your life raft.”
—Michael Heideman, executive partner, Accenture Japan
 
“Drinking from the Fire Hose cuts through the data babble and gives real-world lessons to help get to the core information that moves business in the right direction. This one will get dogeared for sure.”
—DJ Edgerton, chief executive officer, Zemoga

About the Author

Christopher Frank is a vice president at American Express, where he is responsible for advertising, brand, and business - to - business research. Prior to joining American Express, he spent ten years at Microsoft as a senior director in market research. He is a recipient of the Wall Street Journal Achievement Award.
Paul Magnone is a vice president of business development and alliances at Openet, a global telecommunications software and consulting firm. For twenty-one years, he was previously a senior executive at IBM, where he started and grew four consulting businesses. Both authors live outside New York City.

Visit firehosethebook.com.

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Customer Reviews

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When I first read the title I said interesting, but a book about questions....ho hum.
Jake
This book should be a required read for business professionals as it will enable them to make more insightful and effective business decisions.
Joseph Post
These guys talk great sense - it's good to see them speak live too if you get the chance.
Kevin R. Duncan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I checked this out from a library and read it as I wasn't sure I wanted to own it from skimming it. There are some average ideas about reducing the data load by asking 7 questions they have outlined. I think skimming the book for 20 minutes and focusing on the first few pages and the appendixes gives you all the information. The outdated stories in the middle that they use to support the questions they propose don't add any value. In the end, ask smart questions, keep your customer in mind and plan meetings appropriately are the recommendations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The mains points the authors make in this book are good. I don't have a problem with those. However it feels like they could have written a 20 page book to get those points across and instead decided (or were told by the publisher?) that they need a 220 page book and so there is a lot of padding and waffle. It's like reading the book is reading from the fire hose. In reality all you need do is skim through and get to the main points, maybe read a few of the examples and case studies as they're always nice to see, and you'll be done in a couple of days. I ran out of steam after I go half way through.
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By Kevin R. Duncan on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
These guys talk great sense - it's good to see them speak live too if you get the chance. When most people have too much information, they make it simpler. More of this please! Read a summary at: greatesthitsblog.com
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Format: Hardcover
I don't think I've enjoyed a talk as much as I did Frank and Magnone's - not only are they full of anecdotes and horror stories from their wealth of experience in business, but they are also a very engaging, practised double-act.

The book itself is designed to be as navigable as possible for everyone from the busy senior executive to the hungry young research exec; I quite enjoyed being able to skim through to find little titbits to entertain me as I waited for the train, then wade in fully to the more meaty ideas when I sat down - it really is a pleasant reading experience that caters for all - senior, junior, standing, sitting...

On a personal note, I actually found the book and the talk somewhat inspiring, if I may indulge myself.

The only improvement would be to include a business-card-sized laminate of their Seven "Drinking From The Fire Hose" questions to keep in your wallet.
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Format: Hardcover
I think many people whose work revolves around pulling out meaningful insights from data, often face the risk of something commonly referred to as `analysis paralysis'. The primary reason for this is because rather than taking a step back at the start of the process to gain a broad, holistic understanding of what key questions need to be answered, we dive into the sea of data too soon, becoming lost before we know what has happened.

This book serves to address this problem by providing 7 practical and clear questions which decision makers in all types of businesses should ask themselves so that they can move beyond merely stating the facts, to more readily drawing out tactical implications which will drive the business forward.

The real world examples of business issues facing prominent companies and brands, offer excellent case studies for which the 7 key questions can be put into practice.

This is a book which definitely will add value to someone's strategic insight skills repertoire.
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Format: Hardcover
I was at work in an outer office this week and we were talking about the research culture within one of our clients. The CMO was having a problem with the data being presented to her and essentially it came down to she was looking for What, So What and Now What (the title of one of the chapters in this book). I actually took the book down from the office bookshelf, filled with all the "typical" marketing/advertising books we've all heard of-but aren't always very actionable, and had the team read that chapter from Drinking from the Firehouse. It's information that at a certain point in your career you hope you've learned, probably the hard way, but we all fall into bad habits. The RD on that team has now made the whole book required reading for everyone on the account. I only wish that I had this before I started my first job... It would have saved me from having to learn it the hard way, but it's also a great refresher every time I feel stuck or lost when communicating information to a client.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DRINKING FROM THE FIREHOSE is a great business book for the times we live in. With Facebook, Twitter, Web 2.0, CRM and rich on-line business analytics, we often jump to the answer rather than focusing on the questions we ask. This book by Chris Frank and Paul Magnone is a great read, from some experienced hands, and should be considered by marketers in any category, researcher professionals and business leaders. If you just ask one question differently than you currently do, or ask one additional question that brings out something new, it will be time well spent on the book. Get it for the plane, download on your kindle or save it to your ipad -- find time for this book.
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By Neil Shah on September 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much data, not enough insight. It's the common conundrum that most professionals deal with, and "Drinking from the Fire Hose" has some interesting ideas about how to deal with it. Frank and Magnone bring a fresh look and a compelling perpective to this marketing dilemma.
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