Don’t Get the Cart before the Horse: There Are No Shortcuts to Prescriptive Analytics

AbstractDavenport [5] argues that the most important component for putting big data into action within an organization is talent management, and this opinion is widely shared among academics. We interviewed the chief purchasing officers (CPOs) of 15 major corporations and found that they did not feel it was problematic to find the right people for data analytics teams, and did not feel it was difficult to get resources to support data analytics efforts. Instead, they were frustrated by data issues such as granularity, accuracy, and integration. They also were intimidated by what they perceived to be the requirements for prescriptive analytics, and generally had not progressed beyond descriptive analytics. This article summarizes the roadblocks that the CPOs encountered as they attempted to move from descriptive to predictive to prescriptive analytics, and presents a set of steps which must be followed if organizations are to move up the analytics hierarchy.

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