Business Analytics as a Decision Process

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A Lighthouse in the Fog: Navigating Stormy Seas Using Business Analytics

The amount of data generated globally doubles every two years. In 2012, the world created a staggering 2.7 zettabytes of data, and this figure is expected to surmount 86 zettabytes by 2022. Meanwhile, businesses struggle to maintain their competitiveness in a shifting world of globalization, rapid technical development, and competition.

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Businesses are adrift amongst the rising tides of complexity and drowning in a stormy sea of information. Managers and decision makers are seeking a guiding light to navigate the hidden shoals of risk and uncertainty. To overcome complexity and ambiguity by charting a value-creating course, a lighthouse in the fog called business analytics has emerged. Stories abound of new industries and companies propelled by business analytics as the wind in their sails.

Business analytics is a process that transforms data into insights to drive value-creating decisions. It connects organizational problems to data that is analyzed using various methods, software tools, systems, and experts. The resulting insights lead to increased revenue and cost reductions. For example, using business analytics:

  • Intel overhauled capital investment planning resulting in a $2 billion revenue upside.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. increased online sales by 10–15%, generating an additional $1 billion in revenues per year.
  • TNT Express implemented an operations optimization solution realizing €207 million in efficiency savings.
  • HP implemented an integrated marketing logistics solution to spur sales and reduce inventory costs, adding $117 million to net income.

In many industries, there are rising young businesses that have increased the competitive pressure by making the right decisions time after time, while doing it cheaper, better, and faster. This skill can be directly linked to business analytics, the practice of making value-driving decisions using data insights.

For dynamic organizations where managers and employees are responsible for making, facilitating, and supporting critical decisions, it is crucial to understand the basics surrounding business analytics. Thus, managers and employees need to know:

  • What is business analytics?
  • How can common business problems be refined into experimental questions and developed into an analytical model?
  • How is data defined and how is it most effectively applied in the analytics process?
  • What are the various analytical methods and how are they applied to meet analytics objectives?

Does your organization follow a healthy decision-making process? Is the process rational, scientific, and driven by structured data analysis, or do GIGO (garbage-in, garbage-out) and HIPPO (highest-paid person’s opinion) rule the day? The Accenture Academy course Defining the Business Analytics Process can help you to walk the decision-making walk and talk the analytics talk. This course identifies the true value of business analytics so that you can better participate in and guide analytics initiatives. It also explores powerful analytics tools and methods that can help you navigate the shoals of business complexity.

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About SARK7

Scott Allen Mongeau (@SARK7), an INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), is a researcher, lecturer, and consulting Data Scientist. Scott has over 30 years of project-focused experience in data analytics across a range of industries, including IT, biotech, pharma, materials, insurance, law enforcement, financial services, and start-ups. Scott is a part-time lecturer and PhD (abd) researcher at Nyenrode Business University on the topic of data science. He holds a Global Executive MBA (OneMBA) and Masters in Financial Management from Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). He has a Certificate in Finance from University of California at Berkeley Extension, a MA in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Graduate Degree (GD) in Applied Information Systems Management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He holds a BPhil from Miami University of Ohio. Having lived and worked in a number of countries, Scott is a dual American and Dutch citizen. He may be contacted at: LinkedIn: Twitter: @sark7 Blog: Web: All posts are copyright © 2020 SARK7 All external materials utilized imply no ownership rights and are presented purely for educational purposes.

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