Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine, November/December 2014 - Page 67

Rajaram outlines a scope of skills that decision professionals must rely upon in knowing how to utilize available software tools, knowledge of a customer’s industry and preferences, and interaction with the customers themselves. Bringing this vast and varied array of attributes to the problem, analysts can provide true added-value in helping customers find new ways to leverage available data. Until Next Time Decision-makers today continue to face a range of decision types: from operational to strategic, from evidence-driven to those that require the marriage of evidence with possibilities-based analysis. As in previous years, the software packages listed in the 2014 survey largely reflect this range in uses and offer decision professionals a true spectrum of toolsets to provide their clients with decision advantage. In both those occasions where the analysis of data itself can lead to decision insight and those where input from decision-makers themselves must play a role, software continues to evolve to meet the needs of decision professionals. Already there are indications that data-driven decision support has made inroads, albeit slowly. According to Harvard Business Review in December 2013, “those that consistently use data to guide their decision making are few and far a na l y t i c s between. The exceptions, companies… [with] a culture of evidence-based decision making.” [5] The challenge remains for decision professionals to expand the culture of evidence-based decision-making to more strategic applications, and to help bring in the mind-sets and preferences of key decision-makers to meet the data. Where hard problems persist, this year