Small Book Review: Analytics at Work

AAW_thumbAnalytics at Work is the new book of Thomas Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Robert Morison. Davenport and Harris already published Competing on Analytics in 2007. Both books are quite different in their targeted audience. I will not discuss the first book here, but I had an interview with Jeanne Harris that will soon appear on Data Mining Research.

First, I have to admit that I really liked the book. It is nicely written and can be read from the beginning to the end like a story. The book is divided in two main parts. In the first part, the authors describe the DELTA methodology. DELTA stands for Data, Enterprise, Leadership, Targets, Analysts. Each of these words constitute a chapter in the book. The second part, Staying Analytical, is mainly about building an Analytical culture in your company.

Among interesting points, one can note a table about typical decision making errors. Also the five different analytical stages in which a company can be. An original example with actor Will Smith and how he is using Analytics in his work. All these are very interesting examples that make the book really valuable. One important message of the book is that any company can gain from analytics. The only question, that the book answers, is at which level.

In conclusion, this book is a must have for anybody involved in analytics, whether it is data mining, web analytics, business intelligence, etc. It contains several important advices for people involved in analytics within a company: how to manage project related to analytics, how to educate your colleagues about analytics, and so on. As written above, I will soon post an interview with Jeanne Harris in which you will learn more about Analytics at Work.


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