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Business Analytics Case Study Evaluation

Business Analytics can be utilized in almost every organization in almost every industry. The benefits of Business Analytics are touted by every consulting firm and organization that offers system integration. Search the internet for a case study touting the benefits of Business Analytics. Read the case study and answer the following questions.
1.Which industry(ies) are targeted in the case study?
2.What Business Analytics benefits are highlighted in the case?
3.What specific examples are used in the case study to support the use of Business Analytics?
4.What limitations do you see in the effective implementation of the documented solution?
5.How would you improvement upon the solution?

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Business Analytics Case Study Evaluation

Statistically based insight and data has continued to have serious reverberations in the world of business.  Analytics have become smarter, and by the 19th century, they were generating a competitive advantage for organizations (Stubbs, 2018). Success in business requires knowledge of big data, execution plan and commitment to move forward.

Industries targeted in the Case Study

The case study targets computer hardware, financial and Courier industries. The authors propose a way that organizations can identify factors and processes that contribute to the successful use of business analytics to achieve the benefits (Sharma, Reynolds, Scheepers, Seddon, & Shanks, 2010).  The authors particularly refer to the analysis of United Parcel Service (UPS) and how it has benefitted from business analytics. Other examples include HP and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Benefits of Business Analytics

Businesses analyze data that resides in data warehouses and integrated databases using tools such as statistical and quantitative analysis. The availability of organizational information systems such as supply chain management systems has sparked the interest in business analytics among companies (Sharma et al., 2010). There are various applications and benefits of business analytics. Business analytics can be applied in marketing to potentially reduce customer attrition, increase the value of e-commerce purchases, increase the response of print marketing campaigns and improve customer profitability (Sharma et al., 2010).  Business analytics has also been applied in areas of production and manufacturing in organizations to provide insights about the supplier’s performance, the accuracy of sales forecasts for controlling inventory and material expenditures (Sharma et al., 2010).  Business analytics is also applied in areas of human resources, finance and Research & Development to contribute to overall positive business performance.

Examples to support the use of Business Analytics

            Availability of data and increasingly powerful tools for data analysis has helped organizations to use business analytics to support decision-making and improve organizational performance and competitive advantage. Business analytics is currently being effectively applied in quality and resource planning functions (Sharma et al., 2010). One of the examples of the application of business analytics is HP’s development of an algorithm for the prediction of revenue.  The company can quickly identify emerging trends, take prompt action and make predictions.

 Another specific example is the activity-based costing system in Royal Bank of Canada that helps to analyze customers effectively, channels, transaction types, and products. The benefits realized by the bank include an accurate assessment of customer profitability, pricing of products and costing leading to performance gains and competitive advantage (Sharma et al., 2010). Sharma et al. (2010) also provides an example in the insurance underwriting process. Business analytics have led to optimal pricing of insurance policies and speeding up of the underwriting process. 

Limitations in the Effective Implementation of the Documented Solution

The case study developed a framework that outlines the necessary factors to achieve performance benefits from business analytics. The model states the organizational factors key to achieving performance and gains from business analytics such as social capital, autonomy, formalized and well-communicated routines among others (Sharma et al., 2010).  However, the theoretical framework developed is not conclusive and require to be tested in future research. Furthermore, challenges are facing the effective implementation of the model. 

Business analytics is only currently used as a reporting tool and only a few instances whereby it is used to support competitive actions and performance gains. The use of business analytics is an emerging phenomenon, and there lack enough or well-developed theory to support the implementation of the proposed model (Sharma et al., 2010). There is also the challenge of limited access to organization information required to perform longitudinal studies that can show that business analytics transform companies (Sharma et al., 2010).  Identification of metrics to measure various organizational units such as human resources and supply chain management is also another challenge.

Improvement upon the Solution

Business analytics should aim at producing results that are actionable. With the knowledge of business analytics, I would ensure that organizations have the outlined factors such as autonomy within organizational units via creating awareness.  Organizations should also start using business analytics to support their competitive actions and performance gains. Encouraging companies to create consistent metric across various business functions, use data from multiple sources to get a complete picture of performance gains and engage other stakeholders will also improve upon the solution (Reynolds, 2018).  Every organization should set aside resources and a department that see to it that business analytics is effectively applied.

 In conclusion, organizations have access to vast volumes of data. Business analytics has proven to be beneficial to companies such as HP that use them to identify consumer trends. It is high time that organizations start to use it as a supporting tool for competitive advantage gains and not only for mere reporting.

 

References

Sharma, R., Reynolds, P., Scheepers, R., Seddon, P. B., & Shanks, G. G. (2010, August). Business Analytics and Competitive Advantage: A Review and a Research Agenda. In DSS (pp. 187-198).

Stubbs, E. (2018). The value of business analytics. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from analytics: http://analytics-magazine.org/the-value-of-business-analytics/

Reynolds, R. (2018, march 22). Improve your company’s bottom line with analytics. Retrieved january 17, 2019, from https://www.birst.com/blog/improve-companys-bottom-line-analytics/

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