ARTICLE REVIEW 8
ArticleReview (Weeks 3 and 4)
ArticleReview (Weeks 3 and 4)
Businessanalytics is considered the technologies, skills, and investigationof the performance of a business in the past in order to gain insightthat drives the planning of a business to success (Strickland, 2015).Business analytics puts emphasis on the development of anunderstanding of the performance of business based on statisticalanalysis that includes decision, descriptive, predictive, andprescriptive analytics to drive decision making. In a business,business analytics is used to answer questions like: “Why is thecompany not making profits? What is the effect of declining profitsin the next three months? Are the profits predicted to keep ondeclining in the next three months?” For instance, a company, suchas Netflix uses business analytics to match customer viewing withappropriate product offering in order to increase the number ofviewers (Davenport & Dyché, 2013). As such, this paper analyzesthe literature of three articles as they relate to the concept ofbusiness analytics.
BusinessAnalytics: Getting Behind the Numbers
JanuaryEmblemsvag, the author of the journal article “Business Analytics:Getting behind the Numbers” (Emblemsvag, 2005), which focuses onbusiness analytics and the process of how data can be utilized tohelp businesses create understanding is a Senior Vice President ofRolls-Royce Marine with a responsibility for system integration andship design. In addition, he is a Professor at Alesund UniversityCollege where he lectures and acts as a management consultant. He hasa PhD in engineering design, but a majority of his work ranges fromgeneral management, cost management, strategy management, businessdevelopment, and risk management. He has published a number of booksin his career, such as Activity-Based Life-Cycle Costing andReengineering Capitalism.
Inthe article, the intended audiences are managers of businesses thathave an enormous amount of data but without the means of making anysense out of the data in order to gain understanding to make informedbusiness decisions. In the article, Emblemsvag argues that theimportance of business analytics is to provide support to managers tomake a decision, which he believes can be possible withunderstanding. He says, “We must truly understand an issue to beable to act upon it wisely.” He proposes a process of four stages,which includes data, information, knowledge, and understanding wheredata through the use of business analytics can be utilized to assistthe creation of understanding for managers. In the first stage,“data”, the author suggests that managers can collect all thequantitative information about the business.
Inthe second stage, “information”, the author suggests thatmanagers can use business analytics to translate data intoinformation. For example, quantitative information, such as thepeople who watch television programs on Netflix can be translated tothe number of people who watch television programs on a particularday and time. This information is important because it assistsmanagers to move into the third stage. In the third stage,“knowledge”, the author suggests that managers can use businessanalytics to gain knowledge from the information gained from the datain the first stage. For instance, knowledge gained in the third stagemay provide an understanding of what television programs are mostlywatched in a particular day and time in order to provide anunderstanding of the business, such as the time to offer specifictelevision programs in order to increase profits.
BusinessAnalytics – A Market in Transition
BrianMcDonough and Dan Vesset, the authors of the journal article“Business Analytics – A Market in Transition” (McDonough&Vesset, 2007), put emphasis on the use of business analyticssoftware in analyzing multiple data sources to provide managers withadequate information to make more informed decisions in a business.Both McDonough and Vesset have used their experience in research towrite numerous articles about business analytics in business. WhileMcDonough is a research manager at IDC focusing on intranetstrategies and knowledge management, Vesset is a research manager atIDC focusing on data warehousing and business intelligence. McDonoughand Vesset have also collaborated in other business analyticsarticles, such as Business Analytics SaaS Expands. However, both ofthem have also written other articles, such as Trends in the Marketfor Analytic Applications by Vesset and Enterprise Portal AdoptionTrends in 2003.
Theintended audiences in the article are managers of firms who arelooking for business analytics software that can help them gain acompetitive advantage over other competitors. In the article, bothMcDonough and Vesset argue that business analytics has moved past thetraditional business intelligence that focuses on productivity gainsby improving information delivery and data capture. They claim thattoday’s business analytics applications are now supporting a lot ofimprovements to the processes of business, such as the introductionof inventory optimization, price changes, and new products. As such,the market trends for business analytics software has been on therise with buyers of analytics software seeking for software that willhelp them lower the cost of business processes.
Forexample, businesses are looking for effective and efficient businessanalytics software that can lower the prices of reporting tools andquerying that eliminates the need for more employees in a business.Due to the elimination of the need for more employees, a business canbe able to save more money to enhance other processes of business,such as increasing salaries to motivate employees to work hard andincreasing the number of delivery trucks in order to serve manycustomers to make more profit.
UsingAdvanced Analytics to Drive Better Business Decisions
PeterArena, Stephen Rhody and Michael Stavrianos, the authors of thejournal article “Using Advanced Analytics to Drive Better BusinessDecisions” (Arena, Rhody, & Stavrianos, 2005), talk aboutadvanced business analytics that is used to provide business managerswith important information to make informed decisions. All theauthors are consultants in Washington DC, who specialize in thedevelopment and design of advanced analytic applications. Apart fromthe above article, the authors have also written another articletogether called The Truth about Facts. However, Stavrianos haswritten an individual article called Collaborative BusinessIntelligence: Integrating BI and KM.
Inthe article, the intended audiences are business managers andconsumers who have already recognized that advanced analytics arevital in the delivery of informed decisions that involve predicting,forecasting, optimization, and simulation. In the article, theauthors argue that advanced analytics will help a business manager inthe simulation of business operations by asking questions thatinclude: who will be our most profitable customers in the next day?How will the change of price affect the behavior of customers? Howwill introducing a new product line impact on profits? How should thecompany focus on the expansion efforts?
Inusing advanced analytics, the manager will be able to know the mostprofitable customers in order to make informed pricing decisions,such as using a pricing strategy that offers premium prices toaffluent customers and lower prices to less affluent customers. Inthe article, the authors also argue that advanced analytics will helpcustomers gain several benefits. First, the price of products in themarket is likely to go down because businesses, such as supermarketsare going to use business analytics to reduce prices of products byforecasting on when customers have inadequate disposable income.Second, customers are likely to get products on demand because manybusinesses are using business analytics, such as prediction analysis.As a result, prediction analysis will be capable of predicting whencustomers need particular products, leading to satisfied customers.
Synthesisof the Three Articles
Inthe discussion of the three articles, the underlying theme that runsthrough is how business managers use business analytics to gain acompetitive advantage in a specific business market. In the threearticles, the general definition of business analytics can simply be:“business analytics is the use of statistical analysis on past datain order to gain insight to make informed decisions about businessprocess”. There are a number of benefits that business managers canget when they use business analytics. The first benefit is thatmanagers with enormous amount of data but without the means of makingany sense out of the same can use business analytics in order to gainunderstanding to make informed business decisions. The second benefitis that managers can use business analytics software to analyzemultiple data sources to get adequate information to make moreinformed decisions in a business.
Thethird benefit is that managers can use advanced business analyticsthat is employed to provide business administrators with importantinformation to make informed decisions. In general, it can be seenthat business analytics is focused on providing business managerswith adequate analytics tools, such as decision, descriptive,predictive, and prescriptive analytics to drive decision making(Delen, 2014 Raj, 2014). Decision analytics involves makingdecisions, such as whether to increase the prices of products in thenext month or after three months. This is done after conductingpredictive analytics that informs a manager which month the prices ofproducts will increase. As such, all the authors in the threearticles have been able to show that business analytics is importantto business managers because it provides them with insight into thebusiness operations.
Inthe discussion, it is apparent that business analytics is the studyof the performance of a business, especially the past in order togain insight to drive the planning of the same to success. As aresult, managers need to use descriptive, predictive, andprescriptive analytics tools to drive planning that is informed withgood decision (Raj, 2014). In the discussion, the authors of thethree articles have shown that managers of businesses who usebusiness analytics tools have several benefits that includepredicting the outcome of business decisions, such as predicting theeffects of reducing the prices of products and predicting theexpected number of customers who may purchase specific products in aparticular month.
Arena,P., Rhody, S., & Stavrianos, M. (2005). Usingadvanced analytics to drive better business decisions. Retrieved15 August 2016, fromhttp://www.information-management.com/issues/20050401/1023895-1.html
Davenport,T. & Dyché, J. (2013). Bigdata in big companies. Retrieved15 August 2016, fromhttps://www.sas.com/resources/asset/Big-Data-in-Big-Companies.pdf
Delen,D. (2014). Real-worlddata mining: Applied business analytics and decision making. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: FT Press.
Emblemsvag,J. (2005). Business analytics: getting behind the numbers. Journalof Productivity and Performance Management,54(1),47-58.
McDonough,B. & Vesset, D. (2007). Business analytics – A market intransition. KMWorld, 16(1).
Raj,P. (2014). Handbookof research on cloud infrastructures for big data analytics.Hershey, PA: IGI Global.