Chapter 10In Conclusion—Get Started

The best and most successful companies have always been those that are able to innovate continually. Without responding to global market forces, even the top companies are doomed to shutter their doors. The era of big data has ushered in an entirely new realm of possibilities for attracting and retaining customers, increasing profits, and decreasing costs. Thomas H. Davenport, a leading thought leader on analytics and business process innovation, wrote in Harvard Business Review in 2006, “Organizations are competing on analytics not just because they can—business today is awash in data and data crunchers—but also because they should. At a time when firms in many industries offer similar products and use comparable technologies, business processes are among the last remaining points of differentiation.”1

Examples abound of companies that attribute their success to analytics. Caesars Entertainment, for example, led its industry in optimizing the placement of gambling machines and offering incentives to customers to keep them playing. Like other forward-thinking organizations, Caesars has taken that analytical expertise and applied it to its human capital management. Says Eric Schmidt, chairman at Google, “Innovation and data are at the core of who we are at Google and we apply those same principles to HR.”

Throughout this book, we’ve shared a number of case studies about companies that have aligned their learning investments to business outcomes, ...

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