Skip to main content

The Sentient Enterprise: The Evolution of Business Decision Making



The Sentient Enterprise: The Evolution of Business Decision Making

Oliver Ratzesberger, Mohanbir Sawhney, Thomas H. Davenport (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-119-43879-3 September 2017 176 Pages


Mohan and Oliver have been very fortunate to have intimate views into the data challenges that face the largest organizations and institutions across every possible industry—and what they have been hearing about for some time is how the business needs to use data and analytics to their advantage. They continually hear the same issues, such as:

  • We're spending valuable meeting time wondering why everyone's data doesn't match up.
  • We can't leverage our economies of scale while remaining agile with data.
  • We need self-serve apps that let the enterprise experiment with data and accelerate the development process.
  • We need to get on a more predictive curve to ensure long-term success.

To really address the data concerns of today's enterprise, they wanted to find a way to help enterprises achieve the success they seek. Not as a prescriptive process—but a methodology to become agile and leverage data and analytics to drive a competitive advantage.

You know, it's amazing what can happen when two people with very different perspectives get together to solve a big problem. This evolutionary guide resulted from the a-ha moment between these two influencers at the top of their fields—one, an academic researcher and consultant, and the other, a longtime analytics practitioner and chief product officer at Teradata. Together, they created a powerful framework every type of business can use to connect analytic power, business practices, and human dynamics in ways that can transform what is currently possible.

Foreword ix

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 Reimagining the Enterprise 1

Disruption and Decision Making 3

Self-Disruption at Cisco: On Purpose and at Scale 4

Self-Disrupt in Sustainable Ways 5

Analytic Pain Points and a Self-Service Revolution 6

Access and Control 8

A Necessary Evolution 11

Putting It All Together 12

Chapter 2 Leveraging an Expanding Universe of Data 15

A Universe of Data: Expanding Exponentially with New Sources 17

Game-Changing Capabilities 20

Well-Intentioned Anarchy 22

Data Marts and Their Discontents 23

A Solution? “LinkedIn for Analytics” 25

Getting Back to eBay: Fulfilling the Analytics Mandate 27

Chapter 3 The Agile Data Platform 31

Retaining Agility at Scale 32

Rethinking Waterfall Methodologies 34

Agile Analytics 35

Spreading Agility Company-Wide with the Virtual Data Mart 36

A Virtual Data Mart (by Any Other Name) in Action 38

Time Boxing 39

Fewer Requirements, More Prototypes 40

Analytics on Analytics 41

Making It Real with the Layered Data Architecture 42

Driving Change in the Auto Industry 45

Remembering the Big Picture 46

Chapter 4 The Behavioral Data Platform 49

Personalized—If Not Personal—Interaction 52

New Measures for Success, Built on Behavioral Data 53

Leveraging Behavioral Data for Real-World Business Challenges 55

Behavioral Data Is Everywhere 58

Agile Systems for Behavioral Data 59

Back Inside the Layered Data Architecture 62

Reaping Value and Insight 64

Proactive Data Standards and Designing for the Unknown 65

Chapter 5 The Collaborative Ideation Platform 67

Avoiding “Anti-Social” Analytics 68

The Problem of Metadata at Scale 70

Collaboration and Context at Scale 72

Merchandising Analytic Insights 73

Staying on the Path to Value through Analytics on Analytics 75

Adoption Takes Time 77

Operationalizing Insights 78

Chapter 6 The Analytical Application Platform 81

Turning Analytic Insight into Action Across the Organization 83

Lessons from the Cloud 85

Creating an App Economy for the Enterprise 86

DevOps to Make It Real 88

Less ETL . . . 91

. . . More “Data Listening” 92

Setup for Sentience 94

Chapter 7 The Autonomous Decisioning Platform 97

Fast-Changing Capabilities 99

Self-Driving Cars … and Companies 100

“System of Systems” Building Blocks for Sentience 101

Algorithms: A Must-Have for Autonomous Decisioning 102

Strategically Applying Algorithmic Intelligence in the Enterprise 105

Algorithmic “Magic” 106

Analytics on Algorithms to Improve Decision Making 107

Combining Algorithms on the Home Stretch to Sentience 109

Agility as the Ultimate Litmus Test 111

Chapter 8 Implementing Your Course to Sentience 113

Ask the Right Questions, Warts and All 115

Agile Strategic Planning Is Not an Oxymoron 116

Adopt a Start-Up Mind-Set and Don’t Boil the Ocean 118

Pick the Right Internal Partners to Demonstrate Value 119

Embrace Agile Project Management Strategies 120

Embrace Concurrency, Ensure Scalability 120

Design in Governance That’s Seamless and Repeatable 121

Optimize a Workforce to Act Fast, Fail Fast, and Scale Fast 122

“It’s the Culture, Stupid” 123

Conclusion 125

Acknowledgments 137

About the Authors 139

Index 141