MIT is, of course, one of the premier engineering and technological schools in the world. The Sloan School of Management is MIT's highly acclaimed business school, which excels in quantitative analyses of business problems. And the Sloan Management Review is the school's answer to the Harvard Business Review – a high-quality business journal with a technology and analytics edge.
Besides its academic acclaim in science, technology and business, MIT's a leader in delivering academic content to the public for free with its MITOpenCourseWare initiative. I enthusiastically go back to school at MIT every year to sample a few of their tough undergrad and grad courses.
The Sloan Management Review organizes content in two ways:
- The magazine (print and digital) – a forum for business-management innovators from around the world to present their ideas and research.
- Innovation Hubs – dedicated, collaborative spaces on SMR’s website for capturing the best thinking, reporting, and scholarly research
I discovered The New Intelligent Enterprise hub over a year ago and have been an ardent follower since. It's certainly an understatement to say that TNIE is pertinent for BI: “The intensifying 'data deluge', and the new analytical approaches that help organizations exploit that data, will fundamentally change how managers make decisions and innovate. TNIE explores the challenges of the data-driven world, and defines the new organizational capabilities this environment will demand.” I'd recommend that TNIE become a staple of any BI analyst who wishes to stay in the vanguard of intelligence and data science.
As I browse the main page of TNIE, I come across many articles directly pertinent for BI. The current lead article, "The Unstructured Information You're Missing," an interview with K. Ananth Krishnan, chief technology officer of Tata Consultancy Services, is certainly a solid point of departure.
I blogged on “Analytics: The New Path to Value,” a high quality report on collaborative survey research of executives by SMR and IBM, last year. One of my observations at that time: “An important recommendation of this process? Start with questions, not data. A science of business approach that first generates hypotheses, then looks to data and analytics for test/refine works best.“
Analytics thought leader Tom Davenport weighs in with more of his customary outstanding insights in “How Fast and Flexible Do You Want Your Information, Really?” One notable finding from the research: the priorities of intelligence depend on the state of the economy. In a recession, financial reporting is first and foremost, while in an expansion, employee satisfaction, market share and inventory levels are more prominent.
Harrah's CEO and economics Ph.D. Gary Loveman espouses the use of randomized experiments as an organizational learning tool in the interview article “In Experiments We Trust: From Intuit to Harrah’s Casinos.” It's no secret where Loveman stands on experts vs. analytics and the use of scientific rigor in business: “There’s a romantic appreciation for instinct and, frankly, an absence of rigor for the application of more scientific approaches. What I found in our industry was that the institutionalization of instinct was a source of many of its problems … In our world, where we measure virtually everything we do, what has struck me is how easy it is to do this. I’m a little surprised more people don’t do this.”
Monsanto's Beth Holmes shares the wisdom of experience leading an analytics group within IT in the interview “What's IT's Role in Analytics Adoption.” Holmes feels that IT's the ideal home for such a team. “IT has always been a great place to be for perspective into the different business domains … But having a centralized analytics capability doesn't mean it's diminished at the point of need. They kind of augment each other …The value of having a group in IT is that they can step back from the individual business units and think about the problems and and solutions objectively.”
Author Yoram Wind offers a plan to re-invent marketing in “Using Analytics to Bring Rigor to Marketing.” To increase both the rigor and relevance of marketing, the author proposes seven strategies, among which are “use analytics and metrics as the glue” and “adopt the adaptive experimentation philosophy.”
There's much more educational candy in TNIE for students of BI and analytics. Sports nuts will flip over “Travel, Crowds, or Refs: What Creates Home Team Advantage?,” which leads to the MIT Sloan Sports Conference site, enough material for even insatiable sports analytics junkies. The Sports Conference is a terrific example of MIT's applied focus with business analytics. Wisdom of Crowd fans will find a lot to like Thomas Malone's “The Collective Intelligence Genome.” And near and dear to me, Andrew McAfee articulates the “science of business” in “Putting the Science in Management Science.”
Take a look – I don't think you'll be disappointed. There's a good chance that, like me, you'll be hooked.