Competing on Ananlytics

Competing on Analytics was first published in 2007, so much has changed in the field in the last 13 years, yet many of the lessons still hold true to today. Things like relentlessly prioritizing business impact, choosing the right analytical tool for the job and leveraging analytical capabilities as a key competitive advantage.

The authors cover the spectrum of analytical companies, ranging from “Analytically Impaired” to “Analytical Competitors” (with Google being the most frequently cited example). In 2020, a frequent buzzword in now “digital transformation” and I would suggest that true transformation to a 100% digital experience cannot happen without a data-driven decision engine behind it.

Well worth the read if you are starting down the road to digital/analytics transformation!

Favorite Part: The authors listed a series of “potholes” that I find still ring true today:

*Avoiding the Potholes

  • Focusing excessively on one dimension of analytical capability (e.g. too much technology)
  • Attempting to do everything at once
  • Investing excessive resources on analytics that have minimal impact on the business
  • Investing too much or too little in analytical capability, compared with demand
  • Choosing the wrong problem, not understanding the problem sufficiently, using the wrong analytical technique or the wrong analytical software
  • Automating decision-based applications without carefully monitoring outcomes and external conditions to see whether assumptions need to be modified

Favorite Quote: “Analytical competition cannot thrive if information is hoarded and analytics manipulated. Executives must relentlessly root out self-serving, manipulated statistics and enforce a culture of objectivity.” - pg. 129

Greg Shick
Analytics / Data Science / Statistics