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The Value of Business Analytics: Identifying the Path to Profitability by Evan Stubbs

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SELLING THE VALUE OF ANALYTICS

An interesting experiment is to ask a relatively large crowd of business analytics practitioners how many are in sales. Most will describe how they support sales activities through the application of analytics. This fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of sales in business analytics is one of the biggest blockers of success.

The reality is very different, even if it is not always understood: Being able to sell what one is doing is a critical aspect of success. Business analytics is not well understood, trusted, or often even communicated. Surprisingly, there is still a somewhat pervasive belief that outside of direct sales, selling is not that important. After all, the facts, when presented to stakeholders, should speak for themselves, shouldn’t they?

History shows fairly conclusively that in most organizations, the facts do not speak for themselves. Decisions are often made for political or subjective reasons, and relationships deliver a significant proportion of internal support.

In an ideal world, business analytics is easy. As a leader, you have:

  • The right people on your team
  • Well-defined business problems and staged initiatives
  • Sufficient resources to deliver everything
  • CEO-level commitment to your initiatives

Alas, we do not live in an ideal world. The more common reality for most of us is that:

  • The business does not understand business analytics and cannot tell you what it needs.
  • Your management team is unsure whether there is anything ...

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