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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming an analytic competitor, 6 July 2007
This review is from: Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning (Hardcover)
Tom and Jeanne have written an excellent new book (building on a paper they wrote some time ago) about what they call "analytic competitors", that is to say companies that use their analytic prowess not just to enhance their operations but as their lead competitive differentiator. The book discusses a number of these analytic competitors and gives an overview of how analytics can be used in different areas of the business and how you can move up the analytic sophistication scale.

The book has two parts - one on the nature of analytical competition and one on building an analytic competency. The first describes an analytical competitor and how this approach can be used in both internal and external processes. The second lays out a roadmap for becoming an analytical competitor, how to manage analytical people, a quick overview of a business intelligence architecture and some predictions for the future.

They define an analytical competitor as an organization that uses analytics extensively and systematically to outthink and outexecute the competition. The analytics are in support of a strategic distinctive competency and they argue, persuasively, that without a distinctive capability you cannot be an analytic competitor.

The book outlines what they call four pillars of analytical competition- a distinctiive capability, enterprise-wide analytics, senior management commitment and large scale ambition. They lay out 5 stages of analytic competition from "analytically impaired" to "analytic competitor". The importance of experimentation is made clear and the book repeatedly emphasizes the need for companies and executives to be willing to run the business "by the numbers".

The book is full of stories about how companies compete analytically and this is one of the book's strengths. It also has a great list of questions to ask about a new initiative and outlines a number of ways to get a competitive advantage from your data. Regardless of the competitive approach, the need for analytical executives to be willing to act on the results of analyses is made clear. The book ends with a great list of changes coming.

This is a very interesting book both for those interested in competing on analytics and those interested simply in making more use of their data.
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