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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taking BI & Analytics to the Next Level

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At a "Competing on Business Analytics" event sponsored by SAS and Accenture in Atlanta, Tom Davenport, and Jeanne Harris, authors of the new book "Analytics at Work" said their research suggested that organizations that deploy analyst as an enterprise-wide resource gain the most from analytical resources.
While analysts often are assigned with individual business units, those organizations that can bring people together regularly to discuss analytical projects may be able to move faster and break down silos. As one panelist, David Dierker, Vice President of Sun Trust said, "If you get in a room and you have to get people to introduce themselves before you can even start talking (about a project), you know you've got a problem."
At SunTrust, Dierker has worked to build a strong collaboration throughout the units of the company, a complex business that involves deposit, credit, trust and investment service to retail and institutional clients, as well as mortgage banking, brokerage, equipment leasing and investment banking. While he believes that there is much more the company can do to leverage the data and gain insights, the company's analytics have provided significant insight to the client and risk management areas of the company".
Another panelist, Stuart Roesel, Director of Customer Loyalty and Retention at EarthLink Inc., has used analytics to dramatically reduce "churn," one of the biggest challenges for an Internet service provider. To tackle that problem, he deployed a number of analytical applications--customer segmentation, promotion effectiveness analysis, attrition models, randomized testing.
Roesel, Dierker and Harris all agreed that the analytics team has to shift its role if organizations want to truly leverage analytics: analysts have to move from explaining "why it happened" to using the data to provide insights into "what can happen." Or as Harris said: "In the executive suite, the analysts have to move from being a service department to being a trusted adviser."
 

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