Below is a reference list of some of the best articles, research, blog posts, and other documents that I’ve read on analytics, omni-channel, business and IT strategy and leadership.
- How Retailers Can Keep Up With Consumers; McKinsey; See section “Get serious about using data and analytics for decision making” for discussion of application across the full business.
- Big Data Debate: Do Analytics Trump Intuition?; Information Week; Analytics provide “an additional tool that enables you to do things the human mind simply can’t do. We’re not here to replace you. We’re here to enhance your ability to make decisions.”
- Even Data Driven Businesses Should Cultivate Intuition; CIO Magazine; Great example discussed that shows how data and intuition both play a critical role in analytics and decision making. The example describes a “great victory for data” and a “vindication of intuition”.
- Why Some CEOs Are So Skeptical of Analytics, Wall Street Journal; “Goal of analytics projects is generally less to uncover “Truth with a capital T” so much as to improve expert decision-making by converting raw data into insights, inferences, or predictive models that can aid operational processes…The most effective analytics projects benefit from stakeholders who understand that both data-driven analytics and expert decision-making have strengths as well as limitations.”
- An Introduction to Data-Driven Decisions for Managers Who Don’t Like Math; Harvard Business Review; Six questions that managers should ask to push back on their analysts’ conclusions: 1. What was the source of your data?; 2. How well do the sample data represent the population?; 3. Does your data distribution include outliers? How did they affect the results?; 4. What assumptions are behind your analysis? Might certain conditions render your assumptions and your model invalid?; 5. Why did you decide on that particular analytical approach? What alternatives did you consider?; 6. How likely is it that the independent variables are actually causing the changes in the dependent variable?
- Roundup Of Analytics, Big Data & Business Intelligence Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2014; Forbes; Key points 1) “Analytics and the insights they deliver are changing competitive dynamics daily by delivering greater acuity & focus.” 2) ” Enterprises getting the most value out of analytics and BI have leaders that concentrate more on collaboration, instilling confidence in their teams, and creating an active analytics community, while laggards focus on technology alone.” 3) Great info graphic – companies that use analytics best are “X” times better and make it a part of their operations.
- Is Analytics a Must Have? Wall Street IT Executives Don’t Seem to Think So; Information Week; The potential for Analytics to add value within IT in the software development (as well as operational processes) is just as great as it is on the business side. CIOs need to recognize this and reap the benefits of analytics for themselves as well as helping to deliver it for their business partners.
- The Data-Driven Workforce: 5 Critical Roles; Information Week; 1) Chief Data Officer; 2) Data Steward 3) Data Scientist 4) Analytic Champion 5) Business Users – “Having the right people and roles isn’t enough. To seek out innovation, all roles within a company — from data stewards to business users — must become savvy interrogators of data.”
- When It Comes To Data, Skepticism Matters; Harvard Business Review; First, it is too easy to be seduced good news. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Second, don’t be satisfied with “analyses of the average.” Third, if an analysis violates the conventional wisdom, expect some tough (but fair) questions, spirited debate, and even a certain measure of hostility. Fourth, these points aside, don’t be consumed by analysis paralysis. When the time comes to make a decision, do so. See what happens and reevaluate constantly.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Digital Enterprises; McKinsey; 1. Be unreasonably aspirational; 2. Acquire capabilities; 3. ‘Ring fence’ and cultivate talent; 4. Challenge everything; 5. Be quick and data driven; 6. Follow the money; 7. Be obsessed with the customer.
- Digital Retail: How In-Store Analytics Align With Online; Get Elastic Blog; This is MUST READ…most retailers have significant direct interaction with customers in the store, but so little actual data relative to what is collected online. Retailers must identify the in-store analytic metrics that matter to them and define a strategy to collect, measure and most importantly – take action based on the insights gleaned from the data!
Business and IT Strategy
- The Messy Business of Managing Investments in Applications; UMT360; “Application Portfolio Management provides IT with a vehicle to change the Run-Grow-Transform ratio and better align IT with the organization’s strategic business goals.”
- The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See; Max Bazerman, Harvard Business School Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership; What can you do? 1. Put it on your agenda to notice; 2. Take an outsider’s view; 3. Audit your organization; 4. Identify changes that will help to create a noticing organization; 5. When something goes wrong, figure out what it is.
- When and How to Let a Conflict Go; Jeanne Brett, Harvard Business Review; “Redirect the conversation from emotions to interests — what’s causing the emotions — and so they open the door to resolving the problem.” This tactic is part of the philosophy that “My Job is to Make Your Job Easier.”
- Nice Guys Finish First; Seth Stevenson, Slate.com; Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Wharton professor, “divides the typical workplace into three types of people: takers, matchers, and givers… [Givers are] overrepresented at the bottom. Grant’s most interesting finding is that givers also climb to the top. You’ll find givers massed at the two ends of the spectrum, with takers and matchers in the middle. Why is this?” This article, and Grant’s book provides his reasoning.
- Leadership With Analytics – Nature or Nurture?; Gary Cokinsl Information Management; “Perceived characteristics of a good leader are over-rated. These include ambition, team spirit, collegiality, integrity, courage, tenacity, discipline and confidence. They are nice-to-haves but pale compared to technical competency, critical thinking and communications skills. Be analytical and you can be a leader.”