Welcome to the latest edition of Analytical Thinking, a newsletter from the UK Business Analytics community providing snippets of insight on what people have been saying and how organisations have been using our capability over the last 2 weeks.

Within this edition, 4 articles provide examples of how analytics is being used in manufacturing supply chains, optimising pricing strategies and a practical application of customer analytics. Within the Big Data section, 3 interesting articles give a different perspective on what Big Data is.


Using analytics to inform thermostat product design


This blog explains how a manufacturer of thermostats is using analytics by studying its owner’s habits and predicting things about when people are home and what they are likely to do with their home heating and cooling. The thermostat collects enough data so that its manufacturer can draw from large data sets about consumption and correlate it with data from other sources, like weather forecasts, to make a more powerful product.



You’ve just read about an example of how Analytics can be used. Following with the next article, you will discover some surprising statistics about marketing analytics that will re-energize your analytics efforts.


15 Marketing Analytics Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

As businesses become more inundated with prospect, customer and market data, marketers are struggling to make sense out of it all. In this article, you will find out 15 interesting, and sometimes surprising, statistics from anametrix on where companies are today with respect to data-driven marketing and where they say they are headed to evaluate the impact of their marketing efforts to drive business success.



Here is another example of how Analytics can be used. The following article explains how analytics will affect Supply Chain.


Nine technologies will transform supply chain over coming decade


There are nine technologies that will transform supply chain management with ten years, according to Gartner. And three of them will have an impact in the next two to five years. At the heart of one of these a core analytical capability: price optimization. Price optimisation enables B2B companies to maximise profitability through the analysis, optimisation and implementation of the complex pricing processes and governance supporting sales activities.



In the last article of our analytics section, you will discover an  example of a practical application of Customer Analytics within digital wallets which are becoming very trendy.


A Potential Feast for Customer Analytics, Digital Wallets Face Challenges to Widespread Adoption

Digital wallets are spreading quickly. In the case of digital wallets based around Near Field Communication (NFC)-based devices such as smartphones, for instance, the core enabling technology will arrive in their pocket or purse almost by default. As Forrester points out, by 2016 more than a quarter of U.S. consumers will own an NFC-enabled handset. This article argues that for digital wallets to become a reality 2 critical bridges have to be crossed: being clear on what analytics needs to achieve and being sensitive to data ownership issues. 



The next section of this edition is related to Big Data. The first article of this section is giving insights on how to use data to drive decisions.


The Big Data Science Behind Today’s Most Popular Content


This article poses the questions: What’s the best day of the week to publish your post? What time of day will get your content the most page views and tweets? Are shorter posts better than longer ones? The following article from Forbes gives you some insights to those critical questions, arguing that up to now the answer to those questions have been anecdotal and not analytical.



Once you have some data, learning how to use them can be easily done with good data visualisation tools. The following article will explain you how.


Data Visualisation on Big Data


The fact that “big data” is the next big thing is hardly new, but there are obstacles to its adoption. This article argues that manipulating data to get it to reveal patterns and useable information is hard and requires skills that many do not possess. This article details a range of software tools that allows pretty much anyone who can navigate Excel to combine large datasets and produce rich interactive data presentations.



The last article of this edition is giving some details about what Big Data is, according to ALEX ‘SANDY’ PENTLAND, a pioneer in big data, computational social science, mobile and health systems, and technology for developing countries.


Reinventing Society In The Wake Of Big Data


This article provides an interesting perspective on what big data is – arguing that it is about the behavior of customers, employees, and prospects for your new business. It’s not about the things you post on Facebook, and it’s not about your searches on Google, which is what most people think about, and it’s not data from internal company processes. What those breadcrumbs tell is the story of your life. It tells what you’ve chosen to do. That’s very different than what you put on Facebook. What you put on Facebook is what you would like to tell people, edited according to the standards of the day. Who you actually are is determined by where you spend time, and which things you buy. Big data is increasingly about real behavior, and by analyzing this sort of data, it is possible tell an enormous amount about you. The article concludes by arguing that big data is driving a reinvention of society.


We hope that you have enjoyed reading this thirteenth edition of Analytical Thinking and hope that it has provided you with a good insight into some of the value that is currently being realised through Business Analytics solutions. If you would like to find out more about our services and propositions then please contact Nigel Lewis or Jon Chadwick. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter or if you have received it via a colleague and would like to subscribe then please contact Charlotte Skornik. If you spot an article that is Business Analytics related then we’d like to know about it, please submit it to Charlotte Skornik, and it may appear in the next edition of Analytical Thinking!