Research

Rise of the Strategy Machines

By Thomas H. Davenport, Feb 28, 2017

While humans may be ahead of computers in the ability to create strategy today, we shouldn’t be complacent about our dominance. As a society, we are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea that machines can make decisions and take actions on their own. We already have semi-autonomous vehicles, high-performing manufacturing robots, and automated decision making in insurance underwriting and bank credit. We have machines that can beat humans at virtually any game that can be programmed. Intelligent systems can recommend cancer cures and diabetes treatments. “Robotic process automation” can perform a wide variety of digital tasks.

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Talent Analytics, Corp. has a unique approach to workforce predictive analytics. At our firm, we measure success by how our projects quantifiably benefit the line of business. We watch it, track it, and report success. Our algorithms get better and smarter using the best data science methods available. I’ve been involved in the predictive workforce arena for almost two decades. I have to admit I’m surprised at how many vendors claiming to reduce employee turnover or increase employee performance do little more than offer a solution that “sounds” effective. They say the right predictive analytics buzzwords – without proving that their solutions actually work for their customers.

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Hidden Advancements in Cloud Analytics

By Adam Greene, Feb 16, 2017

IIA has been monitoring the growing momentum of Cloud-based analytics. Recent blogs and research briefs include Analytics as a Service” The Buy vs. Build” Decision and Amazon Web Services Moves Aggressively in Big Data, BI and Analytics Services. These highlight the availability of new, high profile services that are targeted directly at traditional analytics activities. However, there are also a number of more subtle, but very significant developments taking place that warrant monitoring.

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January was a busy month in the technology advisory industry with Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) acquiring Corporate Executive Board (CEB) (NYSE: CEB) for $3.3 billion and IDG (parent of IDC) being acquired by Japanese investment firm China Oceanwide Holdings Group for an amount just south of $1B. While these two deals are certainly of the “blockbuster” size within the research and advisory sector, IIA’s research clients should pay particular attention to the implications of the Gartner and CEB acquisition.

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Last month, I wrote about why simply making predictions isn’t enough to drive value with analytics. I made the case that behind stories of failed analytic initiatives, there is often a lack of action to take the predictions and turn them into something valuable. It ends up that identifying and then taking the right action often leads to additional requirements for even more complex analyses beyond the initial effort to get to the predictions! Let’s explore what that means.

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Six Very Clear Signs That Your Job Is Due To Be Automated

By Thomas H. Davenport, Feb 07, 2017

In H. G. Wells’s classic The War of the Worlds, the narrator pauses a moment to rue the fact that he didn’t react sooner to the arrival of an “intelligence greater than man’s”—in his case, Martians landing on earth. Comparing himself to a comfortable dodo in its nest, he imagined those ill-fated birds also dithering as hungry sailors invaded their island: “We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.” And what about you? As intelligent technologies take over more and more of the decision-making territory once occupied by humans, are you taking any action? Are you sufficiently aware of the signs that you should? To help you get the head start you may need, here are the signs that it’s time to fly the nest. All of them are evidence that a knowledge worker’s job is on the path to automation.

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Technology-enabled innovation is not only disrupting the competitive landscape, it is redefining the user experience value proposition across a multitude of industries. It is also putting companies on notice that if you can’t successfully engage your customers in this new digitally mediated world you are on your way to being Uberized. The five waves of digital disruption (social, mobile, cloud, data analytics and connected devices) are completely altering how people connect, communicate and discover information. What these individuals are looking for are “friction-free” user experiences that delight and inspire them. These new tools affect how customers make decisions which affect their entire customer journey which ultimately affects their customer lifetime value. Simply put, it defines the differences between the traditional customer and the new connected customer.

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The Myth of the Data Scientist Shortage

By Thomas H. Davenport, Jan 24, 2017

Technologists and business folks alike overstate the shortage of data scientists. They just need to know where to look. Here are some common excuses companies use for not employing data scientists, and why they’re no longer valid.

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At IIA, our mission is to improve the analytics performance of individuals, teams, and enterprises. For clients, part of that mission is served at our semi-annual Analytics Symposia where we bring together analytics practitioners, experts, and thought leaders to discover and share current analytics best practices. We are excited for the upcoming spring Analytics Symposium – Silicon Valley March 14th, hosted in Palo Alto on the VMware campus. Included in the executive summary infographic below, is the all-star line-up of keynotes and speaker presentations.

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Why Predictions Are Not Enough

By Bill Franks, Jan 12, 2017

In recent times, I have read a number of articles lamenting the frequent lack of value resulting from large scale analytics and data science initiatives. While I have seen substantial value driven from many efforts, I have also seen examples where the results were very poor. My belief is that oftentimes the problems can be boiled down to one basic mistake. Namely, thinking that generating predictions, forecasts, or simulations is enough. It is not. Predictions Are The Starting Point… Almost by definition, advanced analytics or data science initiatives involve applying some type of algorithm to data in order to find…

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