Book Review - Competing on Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris
There is *so* much value and information locked up in the data that a company maintains on their business. But how can a company turn that into a competitive edge? That question is explored in the book Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris. While not a detailed "how to" book on the subject, it makes a strong case for what needs to be done to survive and compete in today's marketplace.
Part 1 - The Nature of Analytical Competition: The Nature of Analytical Competition; What Makes an Analytical Competitor?; Analytics and Business Performance; Competing on Analytics with Internal Processes; Competing on Analytics with External Processes
Part 2 - Building an Analytical Capability: A Road Map to Enhanced Analytical Capabilities; Managing Analytical People; The Architecture of Business Intelligence; The Future of Analytical Competition
Notes; Index; About the Authors
I'll be the first to admit that a book on analytics doesn't necessarily sound like "edge-of-your-seat" reading. But surprisingly, this book is much more readable than I expected. Davenport and Harris avoid getting bogged down in academic posturing and theorizing, and the examples of real companies and scenarios are numerous. You'll find everything from financial services (like Capital One) to sports teams (such as the New England Patriots). Through these actual companies and case studies, the foundation is set for why this is critical to business success, as well as the mind-set changes that are needed to make it all happen. They also do a great job in explaining the difference between reporting and true analytics, as well as presenting a continuum of stages of analytical competition. You may be anywhere from analytically impaired (not good) to being an analytical competitor (very good). While you may not like where you are, at least you'll understand what you need to do to move up the pyramid.
Even if you're not directly responsible for analytics, it's worth understanding what it's all about. This is a good intro to the topic, and it may be what spurs you on to take the next steps from "what" to "why"...