Hooked on Analytics

BAM, BI, CEP, analytics: call it what you will. An article by Tom Davenport in HBR, Competing on Analytics (free!), discusses the value of shining a bright light on what’s happening in your business processes:

At a time when firms in many industries offer similar products and use comparable technologies, business processes are among the last remaining points of differentiation. And analytics competitors wring every last drop of value from those processes.

He makes the point that companies that become proficient at analyzing what’s happening with their business processes become the leaders in their field, like Capital One, Marriott and Amazon. These “analytics competitors” have top management buying in to the concept of analytics as a strategic differentiator, have multiple analytics initiatives going on, and are doing it at the enterprise rather than departmental level. I had a question sent to me via my Squidoo BPM lens recently about the BI/analytics marketplace in Toronto, and I had to admit that a lot of my local customers (and not-so-local ones) are still not seeing analytics as a strategic initiative, but are allowing it to languish in departmental applications where it provides ROI but (probably) not much strategic differentiation at an enterprise level. Read Tom’s full article for his full analysis of what the analytics competitors are doing right, and the difference that it’s making for them. He even pooh-poohs the use of the term “business intelligence” as being “the term IT people use for analytics and reporting processes and software”. Ouch!

The linked sub-article, You Know You Compete on Analytics When…, has a summary of the traits of a successful analytics competitor.

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