Whatever your specific outside challenges driving you toward business analytics, there are also challenges for analytics inside the organization. In other words, how do you unleash the power of analytics to address the business challenges that are most critical to your organization, while overcoming typical pitfalls inside your company? If you could only find that brilliant data scientist and woo him or her into your organization, then everything would be all right, and your company could do brilliant things with its data. That one genius could help you segment your market effectively, increase your number of customers, reduce the customer attrition rate, predict what will make new customers buy, predict online customer behavior, and increase your company market cap by 30%, right?

Wrong. Certainly, smart and knowledgeable staff is important in helping you make good use of your data—but that is nowhere near enough. Several other challenges from within your organization need to be addressed before you can reach data nirvana using brilliant data scientists. This book is designed to help you address those internal challenges, but first, let’s outline a few of them.

To illustrate some of the internal challenges to business analytics success, let’s take the case of executives we spoke with at a company as part of the background research for this book. Out of respect for the company, we won’t name it; however, let’s just say it is a fairly well-known media company. ...

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