Analytics in Action: Breakthroughs and Barriers on the Journey to ROI


Developing a repeatable decision-making process that leverages data and analytical methods should be a high priority for every organization interested in analytics. If the science of analytics is well established, analytics as a business discipline is a relatively recent phenomenon, sparked in large part by the publication in 2007 of Competing on Analytics: the New Science of Winning, by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris. Where does the actual practice of analytics stand today, and how many businesses are embracing this powerful new approach to decision making? Most importantly, for those that have already begun to make an investment in analytics, is the practice delivering on the promise? As the pace of change drives businesses to be more nimble, and as enterprises become more skilled in the advanced application of analytics, it is unsurprising to see more than twice as many organizations reporting that analytics is being used as a primarily predictive tool today than in 2009. The surge in predictive applications suggests a growing sophistication in analytics capabilities, along with a growing demand for analytics that anticipate tomorrow rather than explain yesterday.

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