Jim Davis, Senior Vice President and CMO of SAS, says that analytics has moved from a departmental approach owned by IT or marketing up into the executive suite. Executives now understand what analytics can do for their business.
He unveiled what he defines as the eight levels of analytics:
1. Standard reports -- It answers the question, "What happened?"
2. Ad Hoc Reports - how many, how often?
3. Query drilldown (or OLAP) - where exactly is the problem?
4. Alerts - what actions are needed now?
5. Statistical analysis -- Why is it happening? What opps am I missing
6. Forecasting - what if these trends continue
7. Predictive modeling - what will happen next?
8. Optimization - how do we do things better? What is the best decision for a complex problem?
He notes that the first four support reactive decision making, while the second four support proactive decision making. The goal is to use analytics to optimize data and actions to find the best solution for a specific business challenge.