Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results

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Harvard Business Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 214 pages
2 Reviews
Most companies have massive amounts of data at their disposal, yet fail to utilize it in any meaningful way. But a powerful new business tool - analytics - is enabling many firms to aggressively leverage their data in key business decisions and processes, with impressive results.

In their previous book, Competing on Analytics, Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris showed how pioneering firms were building their entire strategies around their analytical capabilities. Rather than "going with the gut" when pricing products, maintaining inventory, or hiring talent, managers in these firms use data, analysis, and systematic reasoning to make decisions that improve efficiency, risk-management, and profits.

Now, in Analytics at Work, Davenport, Harris, and coauthor Robert Morison reveal how any manager can effectively deploy analytics in day-to-day operations--one business decision at a time. They show how many types of analytical tools, from statistical analysis to qualitative measures like systematic behavior coding, can improve decisions about everything from what new product offering might interest customers to whether marketing dollars are being most effectively deployed.

Based on all-new research and illustrated with examples from companies including Humana, Best Buy, Progressive Insurance, and Hotels.com, this implementation-focused guide outlines the five-step DELTA model for deploying and succeeding with analytical initiatives. You'll learn how to:

Use data more effectively and glean valuable analytical insights
Manage and coordinate data, people, and technology at an enterprise level
Understand and support what analytical leaders do
Evaluate and choose realistic targets for analytical activity
Recruit, hire, and manage analysts

Combining the science of quantitative analysis with the art of sound reasoning, Analytics at Work provides a road map and tools for unleashing the potential buried in your company's data.
 

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This book is very informative and helps one understand the importance of analytics not only in business but also in all aspects of life. I think that this book helped me realize the importance for me to review my life and the information I learn and analyze it effectively. There are many real life business models cited which help illustrate the importance and effectiveness of analytics.  

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Contents

What It Means to Put Analytics to Work
1
The Analytical Delta
19
Data
23
Enterprise
45
Leadership
57
Targets
73
Analysts
91
Staying Analytical
117
Build an Analytical Culture
137
Review Your Business Comprehensively
149
Meeting Challenges Along the Way
161
Toward More Analytical Decisions and Better Results
175
Appendix
185
Notes
189
Index
197
About the Authors
213

Embed Analytics in Business Processes
121

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About the author (2010)

Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Chair at Babson College, a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, and the author, coauthor, or editor of thirteen books. Jeanne G. Harris is Executive Research Fellow and a senior executive at Accenture’s Institute for High Performance in Chicago. Robert Morison has been leading business research in professional services firms for over twenty years and is a coauthor of Workforce Crisis.

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