Prof. Davenport Misses the Point of Analytics - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
3/26/2007
07:47 PM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Commentary
50%
50%

Prof. Davenport Misses the Point of Analytics

I recently sat in on a keynote presentation by Thomas Davenport of Babson College, who wrote a much-touted article on analytics in Harvard Business Review last year. He identified analytics as a competitive market advantage and illustrated his point with some case studies. It's certainly important to recognize their value, but analytics alone are only a small part of what is missing in business today.

I recently sat in on a keynote presentation by Thomas Davenport of Babson College, who wrote a much-touted article on analytics in Harvard Business Review last year. He identified analytics as a competitive market advantage and illustrated his point with a number of case studies.

It's certainly important to recognize the value of analytics and to broaden the discussion, but analytics alone are only a small part of what is currently missing in business. To effectively apply the results of analytics also requires appropriate management processes and an understanding of how to utilize metrics and other relevant information to change operating plans, create initiatives and make decisions collaboratively, all while keeping an eye on the goals that matter.Davenport referred to scorecards as a reporting tool, a common misunderstanding that limits their true benefit. Scorecards let management share information, link metrics to objectives, proactively identify gaps and establish initiatives, and take actions to improve performance. Managing in the moment demands input from predictive analytics to identify future problems.

As we consider how to get more from analytics, we need to move beyond just empowering analysts, whom Davenport considers cornerstones of his DELTA maturity model (where A stands for Analyst). It would be useful as well to educate management on the latest generation of performance management thinking and tools. We should also remember the pragmatic wisdom of Peter Drucker, who said that we can manage only what we can measure. In this context, while analytics are great for forward-looking activities, they are just as important for measuring the past and using it to prepare for the future.

Pundits may want to make their pet projects - in this case, analytics - the center of the universe, but each is but a small piece of the puzzle that brings together people, processes, information and technology to meet business goals. Let me know your thoughts.I recently sat in on a keynote presentation by Thomas Davenport of Babson College, who wrote a much-touted article on analytics in Harvard Business Review last year. He identified analytics as a competitive market advantage and illustrated his point with some case studies. It's certainly important to recognize their value, but analytics alone are only a small part of what is missing in business today.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
News
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll