posted 30 Apr 2007 in Volume 10 Issue 7
Competing on Analytics: A New Differentiation Strategy
By Jeanne G. Harris, Accenture
Take some overweight players, batters that don’t hit home runs and pitchers that don’t strike out and what do you get? A winning Major League Baseball team. That's what the Oakland Athletics discovered in 2002 when they turned to analytics to make up for the second-lowest payroll in baseball. The team discovered that wins could be had by more affordable methods, such as recruiting hitters with high on-base percentages and pitchers who got lots of ground outs. As a result, the Oakland A’s reached the post-season playoffs three years in a row, despite having one-third of the budget of the New York Yankees.
More and more organisations – as disparate as Netflix, Harrah's Entertainment and the global cement giant CEMEX – have discovered the power of analytics to out-think and out-execute the competition. These market-leading companies regard their ability to exploit analytics as their distinctive capability – the integrated business processes and capabilities that together serve customers in ways that are differentiated from competitors and that create an organisation's formula for business success.
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