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How to Use This Book

We have organized this book so you can choose your best path for navigating the content. The next nine chapters describe how IBM has applied analytics to address challenges in nine different business functions. Some may choose to read the chapters sequentially. Others can instead start with the chapters that are of the most interest to them.

This book can also be used as a reference. The appendix includes a table of the 31 case studies described in this book, including the challenges and outcomes, along with the type of data and analytics techniques used to achieve the outcomes. Using the table, you can map from a particular analytics technique to a business challenge and then map to a chapter and page that describes the challenge. For example, if social media analytics is of interest, the table shows that Chapter 2, “Creating a Smarter Workforce,” describes how IBM’s HR organization uses social media analytics to gain an accurate view of what employees are thinking and that Chapter 3, “Optimizing the Supply Chain,” describes how the supply chain organization uses social media analytics to predict disruptions in the supply chain. You can also examine the table to see if the business challenge you are facing is similar to one in the table.

Analytics Across the Enterprise can be used as a text for or a complement to the textbooks for MBA or undergraduate classes with analytics content as it provides real-world examples of using analytics to transform business areas and improve results. We chose nine as the number of business area stories to include so that these nine chapters, along with this chapter and Chapter 11 would fit into a semester-long course.

This book describes how nine different organizations are using analytics as a way of doing business and how they are realizing business value from data and analytics. Throughout this book, you will learn about the business problems selected, the pitfalls encountered, the business value that can be obtained by using big data and analytics, and the many lessons the teams learned along the way.

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