Posted by & filed under Business Analytics.

Description: HBR article for discussion that presents the competitive advantage related to appropriate use of business analytics.  Analytics competitors use sophisticated data-collection technology and analysis to wring every last drop of value from every available business processes. With analytics, one discerns not only what the customers want but also how much they’re willing to pay and what keeps them loyal. One must look beyond compensation costs to calculate the respective workforce’s exact contribution to an organization’s bottom line.  And it isn’t enough for one to just track existing inventories; it is essential, as indicated here, the importance to also predict and prevent future inventory problems.  The article takes the position that this use for IT is critical to organizational health and success.

Source: Thomas H. Davenport

Date: 2005

Link: http://www.wiley.com/college/turban/0470287489/pdfs/competing_on_analytics_davenport.pdf

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can effective use of business analytics be a competitive tool and weapon?
  2. What does business analytics require?

a.    Resources to be spent on CRM and/or ERP systems

b.    Data to be presented in standard formats

c.    Data be integrated effectively

d.    Easy accessibility

e.    Warehouse storage

3.    When is business analytics most effective?

a.    Combined under one leadership team

b.    Various technologies are utilized throughout, commonality is not important

c.    Data sharing is not important

d.    Inconsistent data reporting formats are common

4.    How can a company establish an analytics culture?

a.    initiatives that support the overarching competitive strategy

b.    instilling companywide respect for measuring, testing, evaluating quantitative evidence

c.    rewarding employees for making decision on hard facts

d.    hiring of employees with proven analytic abilities

e.    none of the above

Posted by & filed under Business Process Outsourcing, Outsourcing.

Practical outsourcing advice and case studies for IT and business process outsourcing.

Description: General purpose of outsourcing is to increase efficiency, reduce costs & to acquire innovative capabilities quickly-by buying the capabilities instead of developing them.  Outsourcing can be a source of strategic advantage.  It can be a disadvantage if cost begins to spiral upward.

Source: Sourcingmag.com

Link: http://www.sourcingmag.com/content/what_is_bpo.asp

Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe what is meant by the “lean & mean way of doing business & staying competitive.”  Give examples.
  2. Globally integrated production:

a. Outsourcing offshore

b. Outsourcing onshore

c. Foreign based companies do the work

d. None of the above

3. Common trend in IT:

a. Outsource core competencies

b. Delivery of IT services that limit amount of responsibility & risk businesses must shoulder in acquiring & maintaining technology that enables core business functions.

c. Outsource non-core functions 

d. All of the above

4. Trend is away from:

a. Customer service

b. Large numbers of IT staff who support internally developed applications

c. Complex systems

d. All of the above 

Posted by & filed under Business Analytics, Business Intelligence.

Description: Link to Wikipedia BI definition & clarification.  Business Intelligence (BI) – Common functions of business intelligence applications are reporting, OLAP, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarks, text mining, and predictive analytics.  BI is computer-based decision analysis usually done online by managers & staff.

Source: Wikipedia

Date: 12/1/2010

Link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_intelligence

Discussion Questions:

  1. Define Business Intelligence and give examples; include value to business overall.

Posted by & filed under Business Analytics, Social Networks.

Description: Definitions, and the understanding of their meaning, are foundational to building a knowledge base.  The definition of “business analytics” is from Wikipedia and is presented for discussion as we begin to study this topic.  Business analytics is defined in this source as the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive modeling, and fact-based management to drive decision making. Analytics may be used as input for human decisions or may drive fully automated decisions. Businesses analytics represent a subset of business intelligence. The other part of business intelligence is querying, reporting, OLAP, and “alerts”. The questions that business analytics can answer represent more proactive and higher value questions than questions other business intelligence tools can answer. In other words, querying, reporting, OLAP, and “alert” tools can answer the questions: what happened; how many, how often, where; where exactly is the problem; what actions are needed. Business analytics can answer the questions: why is this happening; what if these trends continue; what will happen next; what is the best that can happen.

Source: Wikipedia

Date: 11/26/2010

Link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_analytics

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some business applications for business analytics?

Posted by & filed under Social Networks.

Description: Link to Flickr, a social network.  Illustrates the pervasive use of social networks and the advantages to business in developing an understanding of the importance of these relationships organization-wide.

Source: www.flickr.com

Date: 12/1/2010

Link: http://www.flickr.com/

Discussion Questions:

  1. How might organizations use social networks to their advantage?
  2. What is key to social network success?
  3. What is unique about this site?
  4. What is unique about this site?  How has Web 2.0 facilitated its expansion & growth?
  5. What lessons were learned from the case?