Business Analytics Forum

Haslam College of Business


Previous Forums

To see the agenda and download any available forum presentation, please click on the Forum Materials link to the right of the corresponding forum.

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New Data Sources and the Internet of Things


Jewelry TV’s corporate office


Combining Analytics & Maturity Model Concepts to Enhance Effectiveness


Digital Analytics

A look into the future of digital analytics.

This forum featured a two and a half hour seminar with Paul Forester defining his vision for the future of digital analytics. Paul has 20+ years of experience helping major corporations utilize data in order to achieve a competitive advantage. This experience, combined with his current role at Teradata, uniquely qualifies him to have a strong understanding of what is possible and what is likely in the realm of digital analytics. James Semenak and David Hasting extended the conversion by discussing how an organization can achieve this vision. Some of the topics they addressed include culture, workforce development, and tools.

The remainder of the forum consisted of presentations and breakout sessions led by industry experts, faculty researchers, and forum members. These sessions expanded on the details covered in the keynote and provide opportunities to learn from organizations that are currently tackling these issues.


So Much Data, So Little Understanding

In this so-called age of Big Data, our ability to make meaningful use of data is not keeping up with our ability to collect it. In fact, in some respects we are losing ground as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find signals in an exponentially growing world of noise. Discovering what’s meaningful in data, making sense of it, and communicating what we’ve learned to others, is a human task. At best, technologies can extend our reach and speed our progress, but they can never do our thinking or communicating for us. To use data effectively for better decisions, skills must be learned and best practices must be applied. When statistics alone can’t do the job, visual representations of data are essential. In his presentation, Stephen Few explained and demonstrated the purpose of data visualization, when it’s appropriate, how it works, and the best practices for doing it well.


The companies that have been most successful in realizing the benefits of analytics are those that have integrated it as a growth strategy across all business units. Analytics should be seen as a means of improving performance in all areas of the business and as a means of integrating the efforts across organizational compartments. Doing this will allow you to improve products, services and customer relationships.


With all the data tools and services available today, it’s very important to understand who owns and has access to your corporate data. Companies are placing high priority on creating a well defined data governance policy. This forum discussed some of the risks of not having a good data governance policy and some case studies from companies of various size and industry.


The topic of Big Data is well so “big” that I think we could hold multiple forums on this topic and still not run out of things to talk about. Since we feel it is important for the forum members to share information on the latest happenings in the realm of Business Analytics, The forum will continue to focus on Big Data both strategy and also measuring the impact. These ideas came about after reading the IBM Tech Trends report.


Big Data as a Growth Strategy


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