Win with Advanced Business Analytics: A book review by Bob Morris

Win with AdvancedWin with Advanced Business Analytics: Creating Business Value from Your Data
Jean-Paul Isson and Jesse Harriott
John Wiley & Sons (2012)

How to leverage business analytics to create value for everyone involved in the given enterprise

Most of what I have learned about the business applications of analytics I have learned from Tom Davenport, notably from two of his books: Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, co-authored with Jeanne Harris, and Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, co-authored with Harris and Robert Morison. That said, I am always eager to learn more from other sources and deeply grateful for additional information, insights, and counsel.

That is especially true of this book, one of the volumes in the Wiley and SAS Business Series. Co-editors Jean-Paul Isson and Jesse Harriott as well as contributors Abhilasha Mehta (Chapter 8), Judah Phillips (Chapters 9, 12, and 14) and Jac Fitz-enz (Chapter 11) share their thoughts about how and why advanced business analytics can create value for most organizations, whatever their size and nature may be. I think this book will be especially valuable to senior-level executives in multinationals in which the decision-making process must take much more into full account. Cultural issues, for example, that can have substantial socioeconomic impact. In many organizations, leadership resembles herding cats. For those leading multinationals, leadership must resemble herding the residents of an entire zoo.

These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the range of subjects that are explored with rigor and eloquence:

o The Challenge from Within (Pages 9-13)
o Interview with Christopher Kohn, President and CMO, (24-26)
o Identify and Prioritize Business Challenges, and, Analytics Solutions for Business Challenges (41-49)
o Curiosity Can Kill the Cat (82-85)
o Convey Meaning (97-101)
o Analytics Implementation Model (117-118)
o Customer Feedback Is In valuable (132-137)
o Understanding Digital Analytics Concepts (174-183)
o All of Chapter 11, “Predictive Analytics Applied to Human Resources” (223-245)
o Understanding Social Media Analytics: Useful Concepts (251-254)
o Social Media Analytics and Privacy (265-267)
o Understanding Mobile Analytics Concepts (290-291)
o Analytics Communication Tips (314-316)
o Business Performance Tracking (332-335)
o Intersection Between Analytics and Innovation (352-356)

I commend co-editors Isson and Harriott on their skillful use of all manner of reader-friendly devices that include dozens of “Figures” inserted throughout their lively and eloquent narrative as well as several dozen mini-case studies that anchor many of those points in a real-world context. Readers will also appreciate the “Key Takeaways” section at the conclusion of Chapters 1-19.

With regard to what lies ahead in months and years to come, here is what Isson and Harriott envision: “We believe that the future of advanced analytics is strong and that the future holds several key trends related to analytics,” each of which is discussed in Chapter 19. Please see the list of Page 379 and then the “Kay Takeaways” at the chapter’s conclusion.

No brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope of material in Win with Advanced Business Analytics but I hope that I have at least suggested why I think so highly of this volume. Also, I hope that those who read this commentary will be better prepared to determine whether or not they wish to read the book and, in that event, will have at least some idea of how the revelations of recent research in the neurosciences could perhaps be of substantial benefit to them as well as to their own organization.

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