November 29, 2007


Perhaps a misleading, if not corny title. The "spirit" however is relevant to this article.

Thomas Davenport, a respected leader in the field of predictive analytics, spoke at the SPSS Directions conference last month in Orlando, Florida.

DELTA is an acronym Davenport created to capture the life cycle, as well as the environment necessary, for successful predictive analytics ventures. If you have read his book "Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning," the concepts will be familiar. If you have not picked up a copy, I strongly suggest you purchase it.

Either way this review of his keynote is informative.

ORLANDO, FLA. -- Walking on stage here yesterday at SPSS's Directions 2007 North American Conference, author Tom Davenport sported a Boston Red Sox cap and used the 2007 World Series Champions as an example of how predictive analytics can give organizations a competitive advantage.

"The Oakland A's had analytics and no money," Davenport said, referring to A's general manager Billy Beane, who introduced the power of mathematics and statistical analysis to the day-to-day operations of running a major league baseball team. "The Yankees had money and no analytics," he added. "The Red Sox have both money and analytics," which he believed contributed to the team's second championship in four years. Not without taking a few additional jabs at Yankees fans in the audience, Davenport, as part of his presentation, "Competing on Analytics: How Fact-Based Decisions and Business Intelligence Drive Performance," proceeded to emphasize the importance of predictive analytics. His formula, he said, could be broken down using the acronym DELTA:

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