Friday, January 22, 2010

Analytical People

A white paper released by nGenera (2008) in collaboration with Prof Thomas Davenport identifies three levels of analytical people to consider when hiring:
1. Analytical professionals. Most successful analytical competitors have a core cadre of people who design and conduct experiments and tests, define and refine analytical algorithms, and perform data mining and statistical analyses on key data. In most cases, these individuals have advanced degrees – often Ph.D.s – in such analytical fields as statistics, operations research, logistics, economics, or econometrics.

2. Analytical semi-professionals. They can do substantial amounts of modeling and analysis using spreadsheets or visual analysis tools, but are unlikely to develop sophisticated new algorithms or models. These individuals might be, for example, quantitatively-oriented MBAs with deep knowledge and experience in the business process or function that’s the analytical focus of the enterprise.

3. Analytical amateurs. The employees who do the day-to-day work of the business also need to understand something of the analytical basis for operations and decisions. For example, if a lodging chain employs sophisticated analytics for revenue management, those who quote room prices to customers need to understand, at least to some degree, how prices are derived, and when they can be overridden.

Reference: Business Analytics: Six Questions To Ask About Information And Competition (2008), Austin, TX: nGenera Corp.

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