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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

tdp logo.pngProf. Tom Davenport of Babson College began... We are at a historical inflection point! For 30-40 years of accumulating data that we should be using. Executives wonder whether they actually have better decision making. Why did we make this investment? But the time to realize better decision making has come! There is a shift of the key unit of analysis from transactions to decisions.

td-Tom.pngIs it the golden age of analytics?  Tom recommended Money Ball as an industry (professional sports) that is transformed from the use of analytics. Since 2005, there is now lots of discussion on analytics and its role in corporate IT. He is starting the International Institute of Analytics.

In tough times, analytics should provide precision answers to important questions, such as: prices that should be changed in specific situations, inventory levels that are absolutely essential, marketing promotions that are really working, and so on.

Answers does not come overnight, instead they require passionate advocacy, intuition, and creativity over the long term. Analytics is not sterile rigorous thinking for an elite few. Tom shared a number of corporate examples like Marriott, Royal Bank of Canada, UPS, Harrah's, J.C. Penny, Capital One and Netflix.  He continued with examples of analytics in professional sports He is a Red Sox fan!.
How do you compete with business analytics? Tom offered the DELTA model that has five factors: Data, Enterprise, Leadership, Targets and Analysts. Think about the out-of-the-box data that is worth gathering, such as measuring the frequency of smiling for customer service at Harrah's. We need to link the business value of better analytical information. Levels of analytics usage are: Data in Order, Key Targets, Differentiated Action, Predictive Action, Institutional Action, Real-Time Optimization. Analysts need to be Ph.D. with personality! Take the DELTA model and view it across the five stages... which is coming out in Tom's next book "Analytics at Work" in 2010. "If you have a great analytic, don't tell anyone about it because the market will adjust and remove that competitive advantage.." We need to evolve from the 'craft' to 'industrial' style of analytics.

Q&A... How do you train 'normal people' in analytical thinking and management? How do you teach being a good consumer of analytical information? Is 'analytical entrepreneur' an oxymoron?

My Take... Good message. Implications are deep. However, practical results depend on a transformation of thinking among managers and all others who are touched by analytics. And, that is tough!

Posted October 20, 2009 8:10 AM
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