The article “Analytics as a Source of Business Innovation” by Sam Ransbotham and David Kiron from MIT Sloan is a must read for business executives. It’s basically an article that says we are able to progressively access large pools of data and use analytics to inform decision making, improve day-to-day operations, and support the kinds of innovation that lead to strategic advantage and growth.
Their findings suspect that the companies are reporting advantage of data and analytics use due to better dispersion of analytics within the companies and gaining better knowledge of what it can do, as well as stronger focus on specialized, innovative applications that have strategic benefits. I have to agree here, since using information systems to organize data and analytics is fairly new, it was harder to implement back then. But now, we’re getting more professionals who can implement these systems better. This is especially good for international companies, because with the introduction of cloud computing, we’re now able to not only share the data on a click, we can go global.
Basically, we are now coming up with artificial intelligence and better algorithms that are particular to specific sections to use on our past data that we’ve been collecting. We are focusing on specific business issues to gain competitive advantage. For examples, with customer service issues, we can now gather past data to gain more insights into customer’s behavior.
Before the technological advance, we’ve used third party to provide the data and the analytics. They had a third party doing that for multiple companies. However, big companies are now taking this in house so they can optimize it internally.
Example of usage of analytics is best illustrated by Bridgestone. Bridgestone used analytics and data to innovate new processes in important areas, such as site selection and staffing. A new staffing program, using predictive analytics, determines the appropriate allocation of 22,000 workers across 2,200 stores. This not only saves money, but puts you in competitive advantage over other companies.
This not only help you come up with ideas to implement to save money, it helps people develop ideas on what section they can apply the data on. One may use customer service data in a different section, such as human resources, to come up with a better training program. All these new algorithm that supports analytics and data management are becoming a valuable resource and it’s growing fast. It’s pretty straight forward and the job outlook seems to look great. Not only in analytics and database management, but security as well. Certifications like security + or CISSP are looking real good right now.