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Reprinted from

Second quarter 2010 issue

8 business analytics
Find out what business analytics can do for you
– and how to get started

eading banks use business analytics And you can too. Begin by using
to predict and prevent credit fraud, Davenport's 5-stage rating system to
Anne Milley, sas
saving millions. Retailers use business assess where you are and where you need
analytics to predict the best location for to go:
s t o re s a n d h o w t o s t o c k t h e m . Stage 1: Analytically impaired. Your
Pharmaceutical firms use it to get life-saving organization is “flying blind,” plagued by
drugs to market more quickly. Even sports missing or poor-quality data and poorly
teams are getting in on the action, using integrated systems.
business analytics to determine both game Stage 2: Localized analytics. Your
strategy and optimal ticket prices. analytic efforts are isolated, opportunistic
But these advanced business and function-specific. Your organization
applications tell only part of the story. collects transaction data efficiently but
What’s going on inside these market- often lacks the right data for better
leading companies that sets them apart? decision making.
They have committed to deploying Stage 3: Analytical aspirations. Your
Greg Wood, sas their people, technologies and business organization has executive support for
processes in new ways. They have
committed to a culture that is based on
fact-based decisions – which helps them Top benefits
anticipate and solve complex business of business analytics
problems throughout the organization.
Why is business analytics so vital to success?
In Competing on Analytics, researchers
Here are the key benefits identified in a
Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris
Computerworld survey of 215 IT and business
demonstrate how organizations as diverse
as the Boston Red Sox, Netflix, Amazon.
 Improving the decision-making process.
com, Capital One, Harrah's Entertainment
 Speeding up the decision-making process.
and Procter & Gamble are using business
 Better alignment of resources with
analytics to trump rivals. By embracing
an analytical approach, these companies
 Realizing cost efficiencies.
identify their most profitable customers,
 Responding to user needs for availability
accelerate product innovation, optimize
of data on a timely basis.
supply chains and pricing, and identify the
true drivers of financial performance. �
By embracing an analytical approach, these companies identify their most
profitable customers, accelerate product innovation ... and identify
the true drivers of financial performance.

analytics and a proliferation of business Develop the talent you need Transform the culture
intelligence tools and data marts, but
m o s t d a t a re m a i n s u n i n t e g r a t e d ,  Develop or recruit analytic thinkers
who seek and explore the right data to
 A strong analytical culture has
executive sponsorship and encourages
nonstandardized and inaccessible. make discoveries. To make analytics work, creativity. Experimentation should be seen
Stage 4: Analytical companies. Your analysts must also be able to communicate as part of learning, and employees should
organization begins to develop an effectively with leaders and link analytics to be given permission to fail as they learn
enterprisewide analytics capability with key decisions and the bottom line. from trying new things.
high-quality data, an enterprisewide
analytical plan and governance principles. Demand fact-based decisions Revise your strategies – often
Stage 5: Analytical competitors. Your
organization is routinely reaping big benefits  An analytical company makes a wide
range of decisions. Some are ad hoc; some
 Your competitors will often duplicate
your analytical initiatives. Staying ahead
from its full-fledged, enterprisewide analytics are automated; some are transformative. requires continuous review of strategy and
architecture, which is fully automated and The common thread? Evidence backs development of new skills and capabilities.
integrated into processes. them all. Managers encourage asking the
Now that you know where you stand, right questions of the data to get maximum Get started now
get started with business analytics by insight. Find important questions that need to be
taking these eight essential actions: answered and problems that need to be
Keep the process transparent solved. Answer these questions, solve
Improve the flow and
flexibility of data  The value delivered from an
investment in business analytics must be
these problems and create value for the
organization. By creating small wins in any
 High-quality data must be integrated
and accessible across your organization. It
visible and measureable. Who the analysts
are and what they’re seeking to accomplish
business, function or department, over time
your company will become an analytical
should also be structured in a flexible way should be clearly communicated to the competitor. n
that allows your analysts to discover new business, as should their findings. [author bio]
insights and provide leaders the information
Anne Milley is a Senior Director in
they need to adjust strategies quickly. Develop an analytical center of Technology Product Marketing for SAS.
Get the right technology in place
 Take an enterprise approach to  Create an analytical center of
excellence (ACE), which promotes the use
Greg Wood is a Regional Product
Marketing Manager for SAS Asia Pacific.
data management and analytics to effect of analytics and associated best practices.
better decisions. Remove disconnected The most effective ACEs address all �nline
silos of data, technology or expertise. Your elements of the organization’s analytic Tom Davenport “Competing
technology portfolio should include: on Analytics” article:
infrastructure: people, process, technology
• Optimized data stores to support core
and culture to support the business’
business processes and discovery. strategy and operations.
• Data integration and data quality
• Analytical software with the means to
effectively deploy, explore and share
results in a meaningful way.

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