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Good Analytics Article- “…Reaping Returns from Analytics”

Good insightful article in the October 18, 2013 issue of Information Management on analytics by Narendra Mulani who is Managing Director of Accenture Analytics. I posted comments sharing some additional perspectives and related opportunities I foresee. One clear message here- the analytics market is positioned for major growth and as I noted in my comment related to healthcare analytics, today we are only seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in this sector.

Check out at http://tinyurl.com/nyrd8q2

Here is a copy of the comments I posted:

Excellent article. I am pleased to share some comments based on my experience in the analytics arena.

Analytics clearly provide powerful tools to optimize business processes and value chain functions. What is often overlooked is understanding the impact of external and industry factors critical to maximize performance and mitigate risk. Some studies, for example, show that external factors have a 45 percent impact on ROA. Ignore these, and your analytics may address only 55 percent of the critical performance and risk drivers.

How will global environmental policies impact your business; what is impact of changing healthcare regulations on new drug development and clinical trials; what new market opportunities are projected based on disruptive innovation in your business; how will privacy and transborder data restrictions impact your business today and tomorrow. These are external drivers which can create new markets and ‘destroy’ existing ones.

Addressing how the external environment impacts your business demands analytics addressing STEEP analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, Peer Group modeling, and similar diagnostics. And these are not static analyses- change is the only constant in today’s global environment, and having current data is critical. The winning formula- couple traditional external analysis tools, such as STEEP, with unstructured exogenous data analytics provides dynamic, real time insights on external market and business portfolio impact. Integrate these insights with internal data analytics to develop ‘actionable’ analytics. Today’s fiercely competitive global markets demands this analytics rigor.

One interesting statistic suggests 85 percent of today’s analytics solutions address CRM applications, improving the performance and operations dealing with customers and related supply chain activities. The remaining 15 percent are emerging exciting analytics directions that offer exciting opportunities.

For example, in the legal arena, Technology-Assisted Review or “TAR”, uses computer models, machine learning, and analytics to sort millions of documents identifying relevant and privileged documents to support litigation with dramatic cost savings. TAR technologies are rapidly evolving and the acceptance of TAR is now being tested in state and Federal courts.

Analytics will also play an expanded role in traditional corporate strategy management. Fortune 500 companies have thousands of business portfolios often managed using traditional analytics, e.g., hurdle rates, IRR, others. Understanding with precision how these individual portfolios align with the Company’s overall strategic plan, what are the overall projection risks, where are the corporate exposures based on both internal and external factors, are the exciting new directions being pursued by leading edge companies.

While analytics applications in healthcare are accelerating, we are at the tip of the iceberg. Using machine learning to optimize clinical care and reduce longitudinal costs for patient care; integrating healthcare claims data, EHR and genomic data to evaluate patient outlook for both clinical and insurance applications; tracking and analyzing medications and vital signs to assess drug efficacy and adverse effects for drug trial screening; are some of the many exciting new directions we see emerging that will redefine today’s healthcare system improving both quality and cost performance.

Senior management will be challenged to understand these new analytics applications to improve their global performance and mitigate risk. Even business schools must adapt- new analytics tools are reshaping our traditional approach to strategy development and competitive analysis.

Clearly exciting times lie ahead for all players in the global analytics market

Paul B. Silverman is Executive Chairman of InferX Corporation, a predictive analytics company and also teaches at the R.H. Smith School of Business in the University of Maryland.

Paul B. Silverman

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How A Startup Catalyst in Lebanon Helps Young, Aspiring Entrepreneurs

How A Startup Catalyst in Lebanon Helps Young, Aspiring Entrepreneurs

You read that right, Lebanon. One of Lebanon’s most active startup catalysts, Seeqnce, hosted a new competition in partnership with Cedrus Ventures during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Over two weeks in Seeqnce’s new interactive workspace in Hamra, young aspiring entrepreneurs submitted ideas, formed teams, underwent training and selection, and then completed a 48-hour bootcamp, culminating in a prototype pitch to judges. Of
60 initial entrepreneurs, only 42 made the initial cut to form 11 teams, and one team dropped out due to the pressure. Many fledgling startups gained valuable experience here.

Teams present their business models to the jury, led by the Minister of Telecommunications Nicolas Sehnaoui. Each team had five minutes to explain their business concept and general revenue model, and then they had to showcase either a working prototype or a skeleton of their website. The jury assessed them based on four criteria: team members, presentation, product, and viability. Jury members asked tough questions, such as the supply chain of some products and how some of these startups were differentiating themselves from other established companies on the market.

The above highlights are extracted from an interesting article which I recommend reading
http://www.wamda.com/2011/11/its-not-just-about-the-idea-at-startup-competition-the-execution

Here are my observations on the above:

  • The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region has a vibrant, energetic new venture community driven by aspiring entrepreneurs – this is a positive force in these countries – I find many in the U.S. are not aware of this
  • The MENA economies are really driven by smaller companies – for example, in Saudi Arabia, about 40 percent of the population work in companies with market cap of less than $15,000. While many are what we call ‘necessity’ vs ‘opportunity’ driven small business, nonetheless the new venture momentum is strong
  • The above scenario is, at some level, repeated in every country in the world. Global entrepreneurship is alive and well. As an example, I closely track the health care sector and while the US has an impressive health care system, most would be surprised at the level of innovation  emerging from overseas entrepreneurs.
  • Helping these efforts provides many of the benefits you would expect such as regional economic growth, job creation, and so on. Being directly involved in this area several years ago, I saw one other benefit- the ability to identify and build on these
    relationships to create a win-win and also help U.S. companies and our economy.

Today this is an ad-hoc effort . During a November 21st TV interview on the Inside Scoop Business program http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18671440 , I described a new program, the AEGIS program (“Accelerated Entrepeneurial Global Investment System) I am proposing to help attract overseas innovative ventures and technology to the U.S. market to promote job creation, innovation, and economic growth. Some key features of the proposed new program which I described in the interview:

  • Replaces today’s ad-hoc approach to identify, analyze, track and manage new ventures with a highly structured, well-defined program
  • Builds a base of ‘showcase’ companies in targeted sectors (e.g., alternative energy, bio-tech, health care, others) that provide high upside, economic benefits
  • New U.S. entities have global reach thus creating new export opportunities

I am starting discussions with the administration in early December related to AEGIS and will be seeking to attract major business partners to also participate. From my perspective looking at global entrepreneurship, I see many benefits here and the
ability to create win-win situations with overseas partners.

Stay tuned.

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