Research

Are Analytics Truly Self-Service?

By Thomas H. Davenport, Jul 25, 2017

I have been thinking about some of the changes over the last decade in analytics, coinciding with the revised and updated release of my book with Jeanne Harris, Competing on Analytics. The book is ten years old, and much has changed in the world of analytics in the meantime. In updating the book (and in a previous blog post about the updates), we focused on such changes as big data, machine learning, streaming analytics, embedded analytics, and so forth. But some commenters have pointed out that one change that’s just as important is the move to self-service analytics.

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Is AI over-hyped in 2017?

By Joanne Chen, Jul 20, 2017

Over the next ten years, I don’t believe AI is overhyped. However, in 2017, will all our jobs be automated away by bots? Unlikely. I believe the technology has incredible potential and will permeate across all aspects of our lives. But today, my sense is that many people don’t understand what the state of AI is, and thus contribute to hype. So what can AI do today?

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5 Things New Analytics Leaders Should Do to Succeed

By Bill Franks, Thomas H. Davenport, Jul 19, 2017

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

There is a fair amount of management research suggesting that the first 90 days or so are the most important time of a leader’s tenure. It’s when you establish your reputation and it determines what people start to think about you in your role. It’s often hard to change those first impressions. Therefore, IIA held a webinar to discuss this very important period for senior analytics leaders like a Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Data Officer, VP of analytics, or similar senior role. This paper captures the key elements of the discussion between Bill Franks and Tom Davenport, which focused on five essential things new analytics leaders should do to set themselves up for success.

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Saving Retail

By Geoffrey Moore, Jul 18, 2017

Okay, so you know a sector is in trouble when there is a Web page in Wikipedia entitled “The Retail Apocalypse.” This post is not about how much trouble retail is in. This one is about how it can get out.

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Artificial intelligence has quickly become one of the hottest topics in analytics. For all the power and promise, however, the opacity of AI models threatens to limit AI’s impact in the short term. The difficulty of explaining how an AI process gets to an answer has been a topic of much discussion. In fact, it came up in several talks in June at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York. There are a couple of angles from which the lack of explainability matters, some where it doesn’t matter, and also some work being done to address the issue.

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Over the past two years, I observed a very distinct pattern between companies that successfully navigate the new digital world and those that fall behind. As it turns out, those who are emerging as the early leaders in the age of digital disruption share one thing in common – a clear statement of intent. This blog includes examples that have helped shape my thinking on this issue.

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As businesses increasingly adapt to the realities of modern technology, data security has become a critically important component of any successful business plan. Business runs on data – whether it’s financial records, credit card numbers, medical records, email addresses or anything in between – and companies that fail to adequately protect that data leave themselves and their customers exposed to tremendous risk. As high-profile incidents at Target, The Home Depot and other large companies have shown, data breaches can incur millions of dollars in expenses and damage the trust of consumers. This blog is a more detailed look at the true cost of a data breach, as well as best practices for keeping digital data safe and secure.

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Balancing Analytics Agility and Stability

By Bill Franks, May 11, 2017

There have been many science fiction stories (as well as video games!) that revolve around the tradeoffs between powerful, strong, hard to harm combatants and those that are small, nimble, but easy to harm. Both have their merits and both can be useful in different situations. However, the same profile doesn’t work best in every situation.

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Understanding Power in the Digital Economy

By Geoffrey Moore, May 09, 2017

We are all stakeholders in the economic systems within which we live and work, and the better we can understand their dynamics, the more likely we are to navigate them successfully. For the most developed economies of today, this means understanding the transition from an industrial to a digital economy, and specifically, how economic power is migrating from familiar to unfamiliar sites.

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Move Your Analytics Operation from Artisanal to Autonomous

By Thomas H. Davenport, May 02, 2017

Many organizations today are wondering how to get into machine learning, and what it means for their existing analytics operation. There are many different types of machine learning, and a variety of definitions of the term. I view machine learning as any data-driven approach to explanations, classifications, and predictions that uses automation to construct a model. The computer constructing the model “learns” during the construction process what model best fits the data. Some machine learning models continue to improve their results over time, but most don’t. Machine learning, in other words, is a form of automating your analytics. And it has the potential to make human analysts wildly more productive.

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