Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results

  • 3h 36m
  • Jeanne G. Harris, Robert Morison, Thomas H. Davenport
  • Harvard Business Press
  • 2010

Most companies have massive amounts of data at their disposal, yet fail to utilize it in any meaningful way. But a powerful new business tool - analytics - is enabling many firms to aggressively leverage their data in key business decisions and processes, with impressive results.

In their previous book, Competing on Analytics, Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris showed how pioneering firms were building their entire strategies around their analytical capabilities. Rather than "going with the gut" when pricing products, maintaining inventory, or hiring talent, managers in these firms use data, analysis, and systematic reasoning to make decisions that improve efficiency, risk-management, and profits.

Now, in Analytics at Work, Davenport, Harris, and coauthor Robert Morison reveal how any manager can effectively deploy analytics in day-to-day operations - one business decision at a time. They show how many types of analytical tools, from statistical analysis to qualitative measures like systematic behavior coding, can improve decisions about everything from what new product offering might interest customers to whether marketing dollars are being most effectively deployed.

Based on all-new research and illustrated with examples from companies including Humana, Best Buy, Progressive Insurance, and, this implementation-focused guide outlines the five-step DELTA model for deploying and succeeding with analytical initiatives. You'll learn how to:

  • Use data more effectively and glean valuable analytical insights
  • Manage and coordinate data, people, and technology at an enterprise level
  • Understand and support what analytical leaders do
  • Evaluate and choose realistic targets for analytical activity
  • Recruit, hire, and manage analysts

Combining the science of quantitative analysis with the art of sound reasoning, Analytics at Work provides a road map and tools for unleashing the potential buried in your company's data.

About the Authors

Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College and the author, coauthor, or editor of thirteen books.

Jeanne G. Harris is Executive Research Fellow and a senior executive at Accenture’s Institute for High Performance in Chicago.

Robert Morison has been leading business research in professional services firms for over twenty years and is a coauthor of Workforce Crisis (Harvard Business Press, 2006).

In this Book

  • Analytics At Work—Smarter Decisions, Better Results
  • Preface
  • What It Means to Put Analytics to Work
  • Data – The Prerequisite for Everything Analytical
  • Enterprise – Integrating Across Organizational Silos
  • Leadership – The Deciding DELTA Factor
  • Targets – Picking Your Spots for Analytics
  • Analysts – Managing Scarce and Valuable Talent
  • Embed Analytics in Business Processes
  • Build an Analytical Culture
  • Review Your Business Comprehensively
  • Meeting Challenges Along the Way
  • Toward More Analytical Decisions and Better Results
  • The DELTA Transitions
  • Notes