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Analytics Magazine

Inside Story: Eat, Edit, Learn

November/December 2010

In their 2007 book, “Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning,” Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris captured for many the powerful potential of analytics to provide organizations with a competitive advantage. The book’s title called analytics a “new” science, but concepts and terms such as “business analytics” and “business intelligence” date back decades. They’ve recently risen to household word status in corporate boardrooms because of the emergence of the massive and easily mined mountains of data needed to feed them. Today, thanks to all that data and sophisticated
means to make sense of it, BA, BI and other permeations of “analytics” in its broadest sense are potentially at the fingertips of any decision-maker with a computer keyboard.

Of course, having access to game-changing tools is not the same thing as knowing how to use the right tool for the problem at hand. “Selling” analytics to still somewhat skeptical corporate consumers (at least in some corners) can also be problematic, especially in this economic environment. Just ask an independent consultant. Just defining “business analytics,” “business intelligence” and other terms and tools of the analytics trade can be a daunting task.

Analytics (the publication you’re now reading, not the science that gave the online magazine its name) was launched in 2008 not to catch and ride the analytics wave but rather to promote and further empower it, while addressing many of the issues mentioned in the previous paragraph. The idea, as I wrote at the time, was to bring the wide world of analytics and analysts “together in an electronic sense to share successes, failures and lessons learned.”

This issue marks the completion of our third year, during which time we’ve grown our number of subscribers from zero to more than 6,000 and attracted on average about 25,000 online readers per issue. Like its predecessors, this issue is chock full of “how-to” stories, “what-not-to-do stories,” and at least one – Vijay Mehrotra’s “Analyze This!” column on page 7 – that covers all the bases: a startup’s success, sudden failure and lessons learned.

As always, comments are welcomed.

Peter Horner
horner@lionhrtpub.com

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE

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