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Books: UNCOVERING VALUE WITH ANALYTICS

By Ben Childers, CMA, CPA, SSBBP,
January 2, 2016
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SFB_books

Piyanka Jain and Puneet Sharma’s Behind Every Good Decision: How Anyone Can Use Business Analytics to Turn Data into Profitable Insight is a surprisingly easy read that discusses a cloudy, developing subject—analytics.

 

bookreview

 

Analytics is the application of volumes of data in a controlled manner to uncover insights aiding in business decision making. Written for those interested in or considering analytics for help with business analysis and decision making, the book covers the seven most common analytics methodologies: aggregate analysis, correlation analysis, trends analysis, sizing/estimation, predictive analysis/time series, segmentation, and customer life cycle. Readers with an economics background might be more familiar with and better able to visualize these techniques.

 

The first section of the book defines analytics, methodologies, and the goal of analytics. Using this foundation, it posits the BADIR formula (Business question, Analysis plan, Data collection, Insights, and Recommendations) for going from data to decisions in five steps. This process, which is quite similar to the scientific process, allows cross-departmental efficiency with data analytics.

 

Real-world scenarios are scattered throughout the book to demonstrate the subject matter. The cases are categorized by analytics methodology, and they help explain the analytics approach, noting the problems such an approach will lead to both in analytical output and usefulness as well as management reaction in contrast with nonanalytic approaches.

 

The book concludes by approaching analytics from a leadership perspective and detailing how you can become a leader of analytics in your company. This includes assessing your current operation for analytical maturity, questioning how to improve or commence analytical behavior, and restructuring your organization to allow both analytics and departments working with analytics to fuel an efficient analytical process.

 

A generic timeline for implementation and review of common pitfalls allows unknowing readers to learn about analytics, understand its usability to improve decision making, and create an analytics-driven entity. And the glossary conveniently comes before the text so you can better understand and familiarize yourself with new terms before reading.

Ben Childers, CMA, CPA, SSBBP, is an internal auditor at MAC Trailer Manufacturing, Inc. and a member of IMA’s Canton Chapter. You can reach him at bchiders@cpa.com.
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