SAS Forum Malaysia 2010 (Analytics Now)

In conjunction with SAS Forum Malaysia 2010.

Professor Thomas Davenport, who is known as The Guru of Analytics in the field of business analytics explained analytics in one sentence.

"You have all those data, what you going to do next ?"

This is the origin of business analytics; used to be known as business intelligence.

Professor Davenport has authored 12 books and is currently lecturing MBA students about entrepreneur decision makings.

He pointed out that even big guys suffered potentially doubtful decision makings, cases which include:
  • USA military invasion of Cuba.
  • USA military invasion of Iraq.
  • Yahoo opted not to sell to Microsoft
  • BP oil spills.
According to him, to make good decisions, you got to remove emotions. The analytic maturity model presents a way to measure companies.
  • Level - 5 : Analytics Competitors
  • Level - 4 : Analytics Companies --> Having the assets
  • Level - 3: Analytics Aspirators --> Understood the benefits
  • Level - 2: Analytics Localized --> No communication
  • Level - 1 Analytics Impaired --> No analytics at all.
Procter & Gamble is classified as level-4 because they have the assets (data, technology) but just not passionate about it. It is not their culture to rely on business analytics for decision making. For companies with level-5 maturity, Professor Davenport named a few such as:
  • Marriot - on revenue management
  • UPS - on operations and logistics
  • CIMB - on risks, credit scoring, pricing.
  • Harrah's - on loyalty and services
  • Tesco - on loyalty and internet groceries
  • 'CreditCorp' - on debt collections
  • 'CapitalOne' - on Information based strategy
  • Google - on Page rank, advertising and HR
  • ISM - on analytics services
To go up the maturity level, the framework to follow is DELTA model.
  • D = Data
  • E = Enterprise (enterprise level - interconnected)
  • L = Leadership
  • T = Targets(goals)
  • A = Analyst (people)
Check out the slides from Professor Davenport on 'Competing on Analytics'

The senior VP of Mahindra Satyam Mr. Venkat Narayanan (based on Singapore) explains that using SAS iDesicion framework, a project implementation gets a booster of 30% to 40% of delivery time, with just another 70% to 60% of customization. Mr. Venkat quoted one real customer from the insurance financial industry who faced challenges of open competitions and high turnover of agents (90% per annum).

The customer (which is based in India) was looking for solution which will allow the followings:
  1. Customer value management
  2. Single view of customer
They needed analysis in order to architect the following key drivers.
  1. Maintain agents
  2. Reduce orphan customers
  3. Maximize cross selling
And with implementation of business analytics solution using SAS technology, the project is a success story. One of the key success factor is the way ROI (return on investment) was being agreed upon. According to Mr. Venkat, customer only have to pay a minimal upfront fee to get the solution deployed and pay the rest based on success rates. He didn't elaborate further.

Finally, speaker from HP Ms. Betty Lau shared with the audience how HP embraces business analytics (using SAS technology) internally to help with their business.

It was a vision from current CEO Mr. Mark Hurd, who is known for his cost-cutting management skills which worked.

The idea is to have a single source of information for the whole enterprise of HP so to speak and it took them 3 to 4 years to achieve such marvel.

Today, the 'center of excellence' is the 'command center' for HP which will oversee the heart beat of the single source of information. It comes handy for
  1. Trends seeking
  2. Planning
  3. Optimization
Which in turn, gives rise to
  1. Accelerate growth
  2. Mitigate risks
  3. Lower costs
Ms. Betty elaborated more that in terms of business functions, business analytics are used for the following scenarios.
  1. Marketing - Product association analysis
  2. Enterprise - Loyalty drivers analysis
  3. Finance - Spend reporting analysis
  4. Procurement - Quality and warranty analysis
The best part is the starting quote from Ms. Betty that "using business analytics tools, one do not have to make decision based on intuition".

HP also provides business analytics professional services.

SAS is the no.1 in the business of business analytics, followed by IBM and Microsoft.


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