Introduction

Humans make hundreds of decisions in their personal and professional lives every day. A decision is a response to a specific situation (Reason, 1990), such as where to eat tonight, whether to accept an invitation, if a candidate should be hired, or if a promotional discount will help sales. The more background information available, the better the human mind’s cognitive ability to make a good decision from a variety of possibilities. Analytics is all about trying to get a computer system to do the same. This book is about analytics—how data is collected and converted into information, how it transcends into knowledge, how that knowledge is used to make decisions, and how to constantly evaluate and improve those decisions.

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