The report does not focus on web analytics specifically, but it does provide a few good reference points that apply in our industry. They describe 5 stages of "analytical competition" a company falls in, the highest being "analytical competitors". These are the companies who "have embarked upon analytical competition as a primary dimension of strategy". They are clearly using analytics in all areas of their business, and analytics are driven from the top down as part of the culture of managing their business.
There is an interesting section on "predictive modeling and optimization techniques" that discusses the value of analytics when testing ideas and concepts (think multivariant testing). They note that "Capitol One, for example, conducts more than 30,000 experiments a year with different credit card interest rates, incentives, direct mail packaging and other parameters...".
The authors make one argument that isn't completely clear to me. They suggest that "if analytics are to be a company's basis for competition, and if they are to be broadly adopted across the firm, it makes more sense to manage them at an enterprise level." I understand the need to keep costs as low as possible by re-using technology where possible (hardware and software standards for example). That can only be done effectively through an enterprise approach. However, I don't believe analytics must be managed at the enterprise level to make this happen. Perhaps I'm not fully grasping their argument, but I don't think centralized IT organizations can really manage the rapid development and innovation required to help internal organizations succeed.
Any comments on this subject?
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