MEM 410: Managerial Analytics



Analytics is a very hot topic.  Davenport’s  Competing on Analytics article in the Harvard Business Review started the movement by showing the tremendous value in analytics.  He showed how firms can gain a competitive advantage by using data to make better decisions.  Many different organizations, including businesses, governments, and non-profits, are now making significant investments in analytics to make better decisions. 

However, as the analytics movement gains momentum, there is a danger that the term is not well-defined and is just being used as a buzzword.  This is not helped by the popular business press, consultants, and vendors who use the term “analytics” for just a single aspect of the field, or, worse, use the term to just help repackage an old idea.  The problem with the lack of definition is that organizations may be misled with their investments or miss out on more significant analytics opportunities.

Despite the confusion about the definition of analytics, it is not a fad.  Analytics is here to stay.  Data has become too valuable to ignore (some are even arguing that data is a fundamental business input along with labor and capital).  Analytics is the way to turn data into better decisions. 

The field is evolving quickly and, luckily, serious thinkers are converging on a definition that encompasses the wide range of different aspects of analytics.

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