The Business Analytics Center at Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech seeks to develop and foster strong partnerships in the ever-evolving and still relatively small community of business analytics, particularly in the region. We have the extreme fortune of having such incredible collaborative companies and non-profit organizations that work with the Business Analytics Center to speak in our classes, recruit our students, collaborate on projects, among other opportunities.
We recently hosted a fantastic industry panel to visit our Big Data Analytics course. The students include MBA Analytics Concentration, Master of Analytics, among other graduate students, many of which already work in consulting or analytics, and most of which carry considerable business experience.
Our panel included Alan Segal from Cox Media Group, Joseph Dolan from ApolloMD, Dudley Gwaltney from SunTrust, and Spencer Taft from Cox Enterprises Inc. As they were chatting through the challenges and rewards associated with instilling a more data-driven culture of decision-making and strategic direction, I was able to capture a few notable quotes from them, which I've provided below.
Top of the list for cultural shift, as well as talent concerns: CURIOSITY. I was thrilled to hear that the characteristic of being curious with data, wanting to solve the actual business problem, was top of the list for talent seeking, and plays into the culture of a company and acceptance for analytics.
I've been an analyst or in some way associated with data and marketing science since 1991. These are great times for us, and I'm encouraged to see new shifts in analytics unfold!
“Today, businesses are asking ‘why do I need advanced analytics?’ just like in '98 during internet days when businesses asked ‘why do I need a website?’ Soon, advanced analytics will be pervasive and a required business capability for all companies.”
“When you push out data, there had better be insights that go with that. Otherwise, it leaves it too open to interpretation…and that can be dangerous.”
"Give the answer first. You’re supposed to find the answer to the business question. The data is really just the supportive portion.”
“There’s always a better model. If we were going to build a prefect model, we’d never actually build a model at all.”
“Unless someone assures me that they’re going to go over the report with the client then they don’t get the report. Analysis can do more harm than good without communication.”
“Don’t just passively provide analysis. Question what people are asking for so that you can get to the real question they’re trying to answer.”
“No one on my team was hired because of their analytical background. They were hired because they know how to tell a story.”