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Using analytics to improve decision-making

Aug 7, 2020

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Over the past decade organizations have started to grasp the need to understand and apply data analytics to their business. However, analytics on its own is not a magical data-crunching wand that provides instant strategic insight and solutions to any problem.

The Ivey Academy hosted an interactive webinar featuring Ivey Management Science professors Mehmet A. Begen and Fredrik Odegaard which laid the groundwork for the fundamental understanding of analytics. The session also explained some related key concepts – such as big data, machine learning, and AI – and the ways analytics can improve decision-making.

“Using analytics gives companies a competitive advantage, and if you are not utilizing it you could be leaving money on the table,” said Began.

Begen and Odegaard shared examples of organizations that have successfully used analytics to identify new business improvement opportunities, discussed how to make decisions despite uncertainty, and explored how to begin solving business problems using analytics.

“Do not invest in technology to get started with analytics. Make due with what you’ve got.” said Odegaard. “Most companies have Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets – start with that. If you don’t have that, use your calculator. If you don’t have a calculator, use an abacus. If you don’t have an abacus, use your ten fingers. You don’t need to invest in all sorts of technology to get started with analytics.”