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The Twelve Days of Christmas

By Richard Sharpe | 12/17/2015 | 8:38 AM | Categories: Web/Tech

One of the most well loved Christmas carols is The Twelve Days of Christmas. This popular song actually originated in England in 1780 as a rhyme.  The lyrics are based on a “cumulative” theme with each verse building on the previous one.  Are you starting to sing it?    

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me____”




What does this have to do with analytics and big data? 

Nothing more than an analogy to my favorite part FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!”

Just like the song, there are five golden rings that offer real business value in applying analytics on large volumes of data.  The gold lies in effectively using different forms of analytics by recognizing that each serves a specific role in improving the financial performance of products, customers and channels. 

To achieve the most benefit, the use of analytics should also be focused using a cumulative mindset.  Starting with Descriptive Analytics, the insights and knowledge gained should be used to help build a strong foundation for the next use of analytics.  If all of the analytics are tightly integrated for business users, the following can become true gold for an organization:

  • Descriptive Analytics – what exactly happened? (precise and specific)
  • Diagnostic Analytics – why did it happen? (getting to the root cause)
  • Predictive Analytics – what would happen? (if we Do or Do Not change specific drivers)
  • Prescriptive Analytics – what are the results of specific new operating scenarios?
  • Cognitive Analytics – what insights can be gained using machine learnings or, more practically today, adding specific fact based insights from the first four rings above to Senior Management’s cumulative knowledge?

Santa may not be real but the results obtained through effective analytics are!  So please excuse this Holiday theme but just chalk it up to someone who is very grateful for the many blessings that I have received over the course of my career. 

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Holiday and I look forward to an exciting New Year filled with success stories of business value being realized through analytics and big data.

All the best,




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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe is CEO of Competitive Insights, LLC (CI), a founding officer of the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) and designated by DC Velocity as a Rainmaker in the industry. For the last 25 years, Richard has been passionate about driving business value through the adoption of process and technology innovations. His current focus is to support CI's mission to enable companies to gain maximum value through specific, precise and actionable insights across the organization for smarter growth. CI delivers Enterprise Profit Insights (EPI) solutions that enable cross-functional users to increase and protect profitability. Prior to his current role, Richard was President of CAPS Logistics, the forerunner of supply chain optimization. Richard is a frequent speaker at national conferences and leading academic institutions. His current focus is to challenge executives to improve their company's competitive position by turning enterprise wide data from a liability to an asset through the use of applied business analytics.


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