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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Essentials of Business Analytics

Continue to make my way through this new text.  Which seeks to position the three kinds of analytics: Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive.  As I have preached many times in writing and talks.  It always makes sense to proceed in that order.

  First simply look at the data in alternate forms and devise new ways to describe it.  Sometimes that alone can solve your problem.  Then seek pattern in your data to find the best opportunities for improvement.  That too can often be a place to stop and immediately derive value from your exploration.  An then, take your discoveries and insert them directly into your decision process to provide ongoing value.

 Essentials of Business Analytics by 
Jeffrey D. Camm, James J. Cochran, Michael J. Fry, Jeffrey W. Ohlmann, David R. Anderson, Dennis J. Sweeney, Thomas A.Williams

I have been making my way through parts of this book, a great resource both at the overview and technical detail level.

Impressed by the book covering so much of this journey.  It looks at the descriptive and proceeds to depth.  It covers the simplest numerical methods and leads to methods learned in graduate school that we used to call 'operations research'.   It covers a wide variety of current software methods, from spreadsheet packages to advanced solvers.  And many detailed visualizations.  It addresses a wide variety of application areas. An early section describes applications, some surprising.  No matter what your area of application is, you will find inspiration here.  Useful for managers, practitioners and students at different levels.

One criticism, the topic of Big Data seems somewhat reluctantly brought in.    It has a natural connection to the topic, that could be further developed.

Still, an excellent text to browse and learn from.  I have a half dozen topics bookmarked already.

Disclosure: Some of my work is briefly mentioned in the book, starting a the bottom of page 7.   Contact me to discuss particulars.

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