February 2014 Newsletter

Don't miss the opportunity - Predictive Analytics uncovers new insights


This month we present a summarized collection of recent articles on the following topics: 

  1.  Increasing power importance and value of Analytics and Predictive Analytics
  2.  Data Visualization and forward looking predictive view
  3.  Growing volumes of Data and impact on internal resources  
Data Warehouse TDT


According to Eric Siegel's1 estimate, we are adding 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day.  Words have become data; the physical states of our machinery have become data; our physical locations have become data; and even our interactions with each other have become data.  "Data can frequently be collected passively, without much effort or even awareness on the part of those being recorded. 


1. Increasing power importance and value of Analytics and Predictive Analytics 


Three recent books2 offer managers expert perspectives on the increasing power and importance of analytics.  U.S. President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign owed much of its success to quantitative analysis, with staffers able to identify, for example, which people would likely be swayed to vote for him after receiving a flyer, phone call or home visit, thus tipping the balance in the fight for crucial swing states.  Wal-Mart has learned that before a hurricane strikes an area, not only does the demand for flashlights increase but also that for Pop-Tarts.  Even the world of sports has become enamored of quant power, as famously popularized in the best-selling book Moneyball.  But what exactly are these new quantitative techniques, and how can businesses best deploy them to their advantage?


Executives can find some answers to such questions in three recent books: Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) by Viktor Mayer-Sch´┐Żnberger, a professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, and Kenneth Cukier, data editor of The Economist; Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die (John Wiley & Sons, 2013) by Eric Siegel, founder of Predictive Analytics World and a former assistant professor at Columbia University; and Keeping Up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2013) by Thomas H. Davenport, the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology & Management at Babson College, and Jinho Kim, a professor of business and statistics at the Korea National Defense University.  The first two books primarily focus on the power of big data and quantitative analytics, and the third advises how companies can tap into that power. 

Predictive Analytics TDT


Together, the combination of description and advice provide a good primer for executives seeking a better understanding of this emerging era of sophisticated number-crunching. Predictive Analytics.


2.      Data Analytics trends in 2014 from TDWI3


For many years, companies have built data platforms and analytics infrastructure with a significant emphasis on hindsight: look-back reports that help businesses check their rear view mirrors.  However, in 2014, there will be increased acknowledgement that enterprises need to start developing insights and foresights.  With better insights and a forward looking predictive view, businesses are less reactive and are able to be more proactive and shape their outcomes.


In the mid-90s, e-mail introduced the Internet to consumers, made it more accessible, and catalyzed user adoption. 

Bi Analytics

Similarly, data visualization will make data analytics more accessible in 2014.  Visual analytics allows business users to ask interactive questions of their prepared data sets and get immediate visual responses, which makes the whole process engaging.  The quick wins provided by data visualization so far, and the increasing appetite for business users to explore data for decision making, provide the platform for predictive analytics to significantly gain ground in 2014.    


3.   Surge in Data


The surge of interest in big data has led to growing demand for analytics teams.  Having big data capabilities can help companies become more efficient and improve overall competitiveness.   

Analytics TDT

Assembling analytics teams4, however, is difficult. For one thing, many companies lack the in-house knowledge and experience needed to put together an analytics team.  What's more, the labor market for analytics professionals has grown increasingly tight.  Fortune recently reported, "Online help-wanted ads for data analysis mavens have shot up 46% since April 2011, and 246% since April 2009, to over 31,000 openings now, according to job-market trackers."5  The shortage of analysts - particularly those capable of developing and leading world-class teams that can enable a company to create a competitive advantage from its data and analytics - is driving organizations to consider outsourcing their analytics activities.




1: Understanding "Datafication" Eric Siegel - http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/thriving-in-a-big-data-world/

2: Thriving in a big data world - MIT Sloan - http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/thriving-in-a-big-data-world/

3: Data Analytic trends in 2014 - TDWI - http://tdwi.org/Articles/2014/01/28/5-Data-Analytics-Trends-2014.aspx?

4: Outsourcing Analytics can offer benefits - MIT Sloan - http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/should-you-outsource-analytics-2/

5: A. Fisher, "Wanted: Data Scientists. No Math Chops? No Problem," Fortune, May 10, 2013, - http://management.fortune.cnn.com





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