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The Value of Business Analytics: Identifying the Path to Profitability

ISBN: 978-1-118-01239-0
322 pages
July 2011
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This groundbreaking resource defines what business analytics is, the immense value it brings to an organization, and how to harness its power to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Author Evan Stubbs provides managers with the tools, knowledge, and strategies to get the organizational commitment you need to get business analytics up and running in your company.

Drawing from numerous practical examples, The Value of Business Analytics provides an overview of how business analytics maps to organizational strategy and through examining the mistakes teams commonly make that prevent their success, author Evan Stubbs uncovers a four-step framework which helps improve the odds of success.

Built on field-tested experience, The Value of Business Analytics explains the importance of and how to:

  • Define the Value: Link analytics outcomes to business value, thereby helping build a sense of urgency and a need for change.
  • Communicate the Value: Persuade the right people by understanding what motivates them.
  • Deliver the Value: Link tactical outcomes to long-term strategic differentiation.
  • Measure the Value: Validate wins and deliver continuous improvement to help drive ongoing transformation.

Translating massive amounts of data into real insight is beyond magic—it’s competitive advantage distilled. Nothing else offers an equivalent level of agility, productivity improvement, or renewable value. Whether you’re looking to quantify the value of your work or generate organizational support, learn how to leverage advanced business analytics with the hands-on guidance found in The Value of Business Analytics.

Drawing on the successes and failures of countless organizations, author Evan Stubbs provides a reference rich in content that spans everything from hiring the right people, understanding technical maturity, assessing culture, and structuring strategic planning. A must-read for any business analytics leader and an essential reference in shifting the perspective of business analytics away from algorithms towards outcomes.

Learn how to increase the odds of successful value creation with The Value of Business Analytics.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Introduction and Background 1

The Power of Information 1

Modern-Day Magicians 3

The Secret of Success 5

Notes 7

Chapter 2 The Importance of Business Analytics 9

Introduction 9

Business Analytics: A Definition 10

Role of the Organization 13

Reasons behind Strategic Planning 17

Business Analytics and the Traditional View 25

Business Analytics and the External View 28

Business Analytics and the Internal View 35

Business Analytics and the Customer View 39

Fostering Innovation and Invention 44

Delivering Value through Renewable Return 46

Summary 51

Note 51

Chapter 3 The Challenges of Tactical Delivery 53

Introduction 53

Core Vocabulary 54

Common Team Structures 66

Roles and Responsibilities 68

Challenges of Applying Business Analytics 83

Finding the Path to Profitability 85

Selling the Value of Analytics 86

Meeting and Overcoming These Challenges 90

The Four-Step Framework 97

Note 97

Chapter 4 Defining the Value of Business Analytics 99

Introduction 99

Why You Need to Define the Value 100

Different Types of Value 103

Role of the Business Case 108

Identifying Tangible Value 115

Identifying Intangible Value 131

Simulating Business Cases 134

Practical Example: Reducing Churn in Telecommunications 140

Summary 143

Chapter 5 Communicating the Value Proposition 147

Introduction 147

Why You Need to Plan Your Communication Strategy 148

Need for a Communication Strategy 154

Awareness and Information Relevancy 158

Organizational and Societal Cultural Considerations 163

Conceptual Relevancy 172

The Path to Persuasion 178

Practical Example: A Forecasting Model for Planning 182

Summary 185

Note 187

Chapter 6 Creating the Execution Plan and Delivering Value 189

Introduction 189

Why You Need an Execution Plan 190

Role of the Execution Plan 194

Establishing Direction 195

Delivering to the Plan 215

Dealing with Resource Constraints 216

Planning for Success 220

Practical Example: Social Network Analysis 229

Summary 231

Chapter 7 Delivering the Measurement Framework 235

Introduction 235

Why a Measurement Framework Is Essential 236

Role of the Measurement Framework 241

Measuring What Is Important 247

Establishing a Measurement Framework 260

Delivering the Measurement Framework 263

Advanced Measurement Concepts 268

Practical Example: The Ongoing Growth of an Analytics Team 278

Summary 281

Chapter 8 Bringing It All Together 285

Introduction 285

Sarah’s Challenges 286

The Light-Bulb Moment 288

Transforming the Organization 292

Summary 296

Glossary 299

About the Author 317

Index 319

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Author Information

EVAN STUBBS is the Regional Product Manager for Analytics at SAS Australia/New Zealand. A key champion for innovation and improvement, he advises organizations across multiple industry sectors and assists companies in achieving best practice in analytics. He has successfully applied analytics in a highly varied range of situations, from implementing an analytics-based policy planning toolkit within a large government department to creating the vision, market specifications, and demand forecasts for a concept car.
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“An army of statisticians and clever analysts equipped with the most sophisticated tools is not enough to allow a business to truly compete on analytics. Unless management understands how to deploy all that brainpower, much of it will go to waste. In this business-oriented book, Evan Stubbs explains the value proposition for business analytics and shows how to achieve quantifiable results that can easily be communicated.”—Michael J. A. Berry, Founder and Principal, Data Miners, Inc., Adjunct Professor of Marketing Analytics, Carroll School of Management at Boston College, co-author of Mastering Data Mining and Data Mining Techniques

“Excellent discussion of the competencies required to create competitive advantage with business analytics. This is a second-to-none articulation of the dynamics and skill sets associated with successful analytic teams.”—Thornton May, Futurist and Executive Director, IT Leadership Academy, author of The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics

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