The Current State of Analytics in the Corporation: The View from Industry Leaders

The Current State of Analytics in the Corporation: The View from Industry Leaders

Thomas Coghlan (Villanova University, USA), George Diehl (Villanova University, USA), Eric Karson (Villanova University, USA), Matthew Liberatore (Villanova University, USA), Wenhong Luo (Villanova University, USA), Robert Nydick (Villanova University, USA), Bruce Pollack-Johnson (Villanova University, USA) and William P. Wagner (Villanova University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0279-3.ch008

Abstract

Business intelligence and analytics in general are currently experiencing a resurgence in interest from both the business and academic communities. As a response, a Business Analytics Special Interest Group (SIG) was formed at Villanova University in 2007 to better link these two communities and support the growing needs of business. As a multi-disciplinary group composed of both analytics professionals and academics, one of the first tasks was to investigate how businesses viewed analytics and how they were incorporating them in actual practice. With this in mind, an interview questionnaire was developed and senior-level executives from a diverse group of sixteen different firms were interviewed in a group context. Their responses led to the development of a new, integrated analytics curriculum and the establishment of a new Analytics Round Table. The results from this series of semi-structured interviews are presented in this paper.
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2. Methodology

It only takes a cursory discussion of BI among users and vendors to see that there is a lot of confusion about what BI is and how to best make use of it business today. Some of the greatest popularizers of BI in business today have made much of this problem of perception (Watson, 2009). In order to better get a sense of what companies today were actually doing with BI and what their needs were, it was decided that it would be best to actually speak to key people in a variety of industries who were known to be active users of BI technology. With input from the initial group, individuals from sixteen companies were identified and invited to speak to the committee. These break down into the following categories:

Table 1.
Breakdown of industries interviewed
Industry TypeNo. of Firms
Business Consulting4
BI/BA Vendors4
Pharmaceuticals2
Consumer Products2
Industrial Chemicals2
Financial Management1
Transportation1

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