BEST BOOKS ON BUSINESS ANALYTICS

REVIEWED BY BI TEAM | PUBLISHED ON DEC. 01, 2019 | 21 MIN READ

Best Books on Business Analytics

What are the best books on business analytics?

Decisions are made by everyone. Individuals make personal decisions, making product purchases, making financial choices, investment decisions. Managers of organizations make many managerial decisions on a daily bases. Many decisions have significant economic consequences. Further, these decisions may be difficult due to uncertain data or imperfect information of the future. 

Business analytics is the use of information technology, quantitative methods, data, statistical analysis and mathematical or computer-based models to give managers better insight into the operations of their business to make better managerial decisions. The best books on business analytics is a list compiled to give the reader a broad perspective of business analytics. Some of the books include textbook format while others are written by some of the industry experts. Whatever the choice and decisions you make. Be certain to gather all the data, information, and knowledge to make a consequential decision. Happy reading!

Best Books on Business Analytics

THE LIST:

1. Lean Analytics
2. Predictive Analytics
3. Data Smart
4. Business Intelligence Guidebook
5. Storytelling with Data
6. Predictive Analytics For Dummies
7. Business Analytics
8. The Value of Business Analytics
9. Innovating Analytics
10. Digital Marketing Analytics
11. Business to Business Marketing Research
12. E-Business Intelligence
13. Beyond the Balanced Scorecard
14. Behind Every Good Decision
15. Data Driven
16. Developing Human Capital
17. Mind + Machine
18. The Data Driven Leader

1 – Lean Analytics | By Alistair Croll and Benamin Yoskovitz

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Lean Analytics measure and analyze the growth of a startup and validate the authenticity of pressing concerns. It also assists in finding appropriate customers. It also helps in the decision-making process of what to conceptualize, how to do branding, and how to earn money from it. Penned by Ben Yokovitz and Alistair Croll, Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster contains more than 30 case studies based on interviews with multiple investors and founders that make it the essential guide for all Lean Startup aspirants from anywhere around the globe. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Don’t just ask questions. Know how the answers to the questions will change your behavior. In other words, draw a line in the sand before you run the survey.”

“Don’t sell what you can make; make what you can sell.”

“If you’re going to survive as a founder, you have to find the intersection of demand (for your product), ability (for you to make it), and desire (for you to care about it).”

“You need to know which aspects of your business are too risky and then work to improve the metric that represents that risk.”


2 – Predictive Analytics | By Eric Siegel

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In Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die, the concept of Predictive Analytics is on a different end of a spectrum. It is a section of computer sciences that consolidates massive data and statistics to predict purchases, candidate choice, and even date of death. It is utilized by different manufacturing, business, health care, law enforcement, and government agencies. Although not entirely perfect, it is more effective than any of the existing hypothesis models. Eric Siegel, the author, has made these engaging, dense, and complex thoughts into a reader-friendly text. Siegel cites real-life examples from famous companies such as Chase Bank, Target, and Hewlett-Packard as he explains his insights as a specialist on Predictive Analytics.

Quotes from the Book; 

“The logical flow of a decision tree amounts to a simple computer program, so, in growing it, the computer is literally programming itself.”

“As the decision tree becomes bigger and more complex, the predictive performance continues to increase, but more gradually.”

“An organization that doesn’t leverage its data in this way is like a person with a photographic memory who never bothers to think.”

“Several mounting ingredients promise to spread prediction even more pervasively: bigger data, better computers, wider familiarity and advancing science.”


3 – Data Smart | By John W. Foreman

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There are so many questions and misconceptions that surround Data Science that makes it complex. Insignificant has been converted into meaningful insight that impacts the decision-making process of a business. However, what is the truth behind Data Science? And How does it function? Data Scientist and author John foreman explain all that in Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight. He emphasized that Data Science is beyond the use of processing data to acquire a prediction. He has cleverly illustrated the concept of Data Science by utilizing the useful old spreadsheets. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Data science is synonymous with or related to terms like business analytics, operations research, business intelligence, competitive intelligence, data analysis, and modeling, and knowledge extraction (also called knowledge discovery in databases or KDD).”

“Data science is the transformation of data using mathematics and statistics into-valuable insights, decisions, and products.”

“Cluster analysis is the practice of gathering up a bunch of objects and separating them into groups of similar objects.”


4 – Business Intelligence Guidebook | By Rick Sherman

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Business Intelligence Guidebook: From Data Integration to Analytics discusses the usually neglected topics of Data Integration and Analytics to bolster your knowledge on the data integration processes and business intelligence. Written by Professor Rick Sherman, who is also a practicing consultant, this book goes straight to the point. It tackles how to make systems that are reusable, vital, and cost-effective in converting raw data into useful information. This contains chapters on DW, data integration solution, and BI. After absorbing all the pieces of information from this book, you will be able to create a layout for a business intelligence system that has data integration and supporting data warehousing. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“In the business world, knowledge is not just power. It is the lifeblood of a thriving enterprise.”

“Data is the raw material of everything firms do.”

“According to many experts, 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone.”

“With this flood of data comes a flood of analytics.”

“Adding to the complexity, now many more people in an organization need the information that comes from all this data.”


5 – Storytelling With Data | By Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

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The Author, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, has traveled around the world to teach companies to have a more reliable and simplified process of creating a compelling presentation. Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals includes chapters that present information on how to convert data to the receiver, such as what to prepare before conceiving a presentation, identifying the target audience, and how to effectively communicate results. It thoroughly illustrates the steps of how this is done. The is also an added chapter on model visuals and several case studies that emphasize how to apply Knaflic’s instruction into a better presentation. This book that contains her approach is ideal for small business owners, consultants, and marketing personnel. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Being able to visualize data and tell stories…is key to turning it into information that can be used to drive better decision making.”

“Ensure what your audience needs to read on a given slide or section isn’t so dense or consuming that their attention is focusing on that instead of listening to you.”

“People perceive more aesthetic designs as easier to use than less aesthetic designs – whether they actually are or not.”

“While tables interact with our verbal system, graphs interact with our visual system, which is faster at processing information.”


6 – Predictive Analytics for Dummies | By Dr. Anasse Bari, Mohamed Chaouchi, and Tommy Jung

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Predictive Analytics For Dummies is your gateway to the future. This book will help you understand the basics and complexities of Predictive Analytics. It has simplified reader-friendly text that discusses the fundamentals of predictive analytics and how to utilize existing tools that consolidate and interpret data. You will also learn how to combine algorithms within data models, recognize associations and connections in your data, and foretell the future with data classification. You will also develop a guide by formulating goals, planning, and treating your data and making a predictive model out of it to ensure a path to becoming a stakeholder. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Predictive Analytics is the art and science of using data to make better-informed decisions.”

“Data mining requires an understanding of machine learning and information retrieval. On top of this, mathematics and statistics must be applied to your business domain; be it marketing, actuary service, fraud, crime, or banking.”

“Big data is the new reality. In fact, data is only getting bigger, faster, and richer. It’s here to stay and you’d better capitalize on it.”

“Today’s leading organizations are looking at their data, examining it, and processing it to search for ways to better understand their customer base, improve their operations, outperform their competitors, and better position themselves in the marketplace.”


7 – Business Analytics | By Randy Bartlett

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A Practitioner’s Guide to Business Analytics: Using Data Analysis to Improve Your Organization’s Decision Making and Strategy combines robust approaches for leveraging Analytics inside a business setting list of tactics that will turn it into a reality. Author, Randy Bartlett, who is an expert in business information, offers practical application of business analytics. His insights are based on his experience of using it with global brand name companies. The book contains a thorough analysis of what makes successful decision making in using Analytics. The chapters will equip you with these pieces of information; Company analytics needs and capabilities evaluation; Best Statistical Practice; Accurate measurement of analytics-based decision making;  forming a dedicated Business Analytics Team; and enhancement of business foundation support.

Quotes from the Book; 

“We are poised to enter a new Information Renaissance that involves making smarter analytics-based decisions.”

“Information technology and business analytics both involve professionals leveraging data to provide business insights, which, in turn, facilitate better decisions.”

“The importance of data analysis has crept up on our corporations over the past decades. Data is now available in abundance, and our analysis needs range from being straightforward to being extremely complex.”

“We will never fully leverage business analytics without changing the corporate infrastructure-culture, leadership, organization, and planning.”


8 – The Value of Business Analytics | By Evan Stubbs

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This textbook, The Value of Business Analytics: Identifying the Path to Profitability, written by Evan Stubbs, who is an analytics consultant, is filled with many illustrations and discussions on the fundamentals of Business Analytics. The insight from this book will be highly beneficial in any Business Analytics fundamental class or for those who are taking professional enhancement courses. You will get an in-depth explanation of the utilization of available business data and the process of decoding the information. You will also know the ideal data for imperative business purposes as well as understand further what makes an efficient Business Analytics and how to utilize their expertise. All these are essential in achieving the company’s success.  

Quotes from the Book; 

“It has been only relatively recently that the amount of data available to us has outstripped our ability to investigate that data.”

“Building an analytics team is not quite as easy as simply hiring a bunch of smart people and hoping for the best.”

“A business analytics team should be creating tangible value for the business. This is important, as most organizations classify groups into either cost centers or profit centers.”

“Analytics is a complex field, and it is rare that any given audience will necessarily have the right background to implicitly understand everything that is being communicated.”


9 – Innovating Analytics | By Larry Freed

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Larry Freed, who is an analytic specialist, has a great passion for enhancing companies’ knowledge of customer experience and satisfaction. He is also a great believer of WoMI or better known as Word of the Mouth Index.  This has to lead him into penning a book that focuses on how to get customers’ views and convert them into meaningful data effectively. Innovating Analytics: Word of Mouth Index: How the Next Generation of Net Promoter Can Increase Sales and Drive Business Results is ideal for those who want to able to create well-informed decisions based on reliable data. The chapters of this book will engage in an in-depth discussion of the current economic demands and the measurement of customer experience. There are also dedicated chapters that will examine Net Promoter Score and Word of the Mouth index critically.

Quotes from the Book; 

“The WoMI metric is superior to NPS because it incorporates more information and it more appropriately represents the difference between the proportions of the consumers who report being highly likely to promote or detract via word of mouth.”

“The metric you should care about is your true conversion rate, which is the number of visitors who came to your site intending to make a purchase who did in fact make that purchase.”

“To measure the customer experience of the multichannel, multidevice consumer, you must measure all consumer touch points and fully understand the relationship between those touch points.”

“In customer experience analytics, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.”


10 – Digital Marketing Analytics | By Chuck Hemann

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Analytics experts Ken Burbary and Chuck Hemann give a comprehensive model to digital marketing analytics” in marketing and public relations. Customer service and product managers will benefit significantly from this document as they acquire the knowledge in understanding costumers and identifying their preferences. Digital data is more than a marketing tool alone. It is essential in enhancing product launches and customer service. There are only several companies that intently invest in digital marketing, which gives them a significant edge against the competition. Digital Marketing Analytics: Making Sense of Consumer Data in a Digital World offers chapters that thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of digital marketing analytics and how to fully utilize it to gain an advantage against competitors.

Quotes from the Book; 

“Your brand’s content is the fuel for your digital marketing program. Without content that truly resonates with your target audience, the chances of your program succeeding are quite small.”

“Unfortunately for those numbers-averse professionals, the explosion of digital media has also led to the explosion of available data with which to analyze program and campaign performance.”

“Search analysis is based on customers’ actual search queries, so it includes relevant, timely, and specific information about what consumers are searching for.”

“We live in a multichannel customer service world, including assistance via live agents on a brand website, email, social media outposts, and smartphone apps.”


11 – Business to Business Marketing Research | By Martin P. Block and Tamara S. Block

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Business to Business Marketing Research, Penned by Tamara S. Block and Martin P. Block, this book goes into detail the ins and outs of marketing research and its fundamentals by explaining various applied research tactics. The authors describe how to utilize financial values such as survey techniques, analytical tools, and customer databases. Fair warning: this book is involved, so it requires more dedication than usual to understand. The chapters contain information on the following; usage of marketing research to formulate strategies; how to enhance market awareness; marketing research hypotheses; marketing decision structure; stages of marketing research practice; confirming research results; popular data gathering methods; and usage of political, sociology, and psychological science in marketing research techniques.

Quotes from the Book; 

“From a business to business point of view, having a knowledge database is absolutely crucial in successfully selling to customers, converting prospects into customers and understanding the market.”

“Just as sales personnel must know their business customers’ needs, a business to business market researcher must also comprehend a business operation in order to conduct research that has high value for the clients of the research.”

“A business to business marketer faces a selling scenario where the motivation for purchase and the demand for a product or service are derived from elsewhere.”

“Because many strategic and tactical business problems are similar in both consumer and business to business marketing models, these methods can be adapted to solve business to business marketing problems. However, there are distinct differences.”


12 – e-Business Intelligence | By Bernard Liautaud

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Author Bernard Liautaud is one of the few who conceptualize theories about business and owns one as well. He holds the software company Business Object that brings in $240 million of revenue yearly. In this e-Business Intelligence: Turning Information into Knowledge into Profit, he emphasizes the importance of democracy in business. The advantages of embracing democracy in business management include more reliable communication towards consumers, robust data on product purchases, and selling information to the consumer. This book chapter offers further examination on the following;  E-business Intelligence in a dynamic economy;  Effectivity of organizations;  Intelligence Democracy; Data mining; Selling of information back to consumers; Access to data; and Cost effectivity of E-business.

Quotes from the Book; 

“Increasingly, being an intelligent business is a prerequisite not just to win, but to compete in the first place. Amid the hyperkinetic competition of the Internet economy, intelligence is fast emerging as a cross-departmental mandate for companies in virtually all industries.”

“The most advanced companies are establishing information embassies, which function like beachheads of data outside of their four walls and are built to better communicate with their partners, suppliers, and customers.”

“Would anyone want to work in that company, where all decisions were made by just a few and where the brains and talents of the staff were not utilized?”

“As radical transformations occur in the way data is stored and distributed throughout the organization, information and therefore intelligence will become ubiquitous. It will not be the privilege of the few, but the standard expectation of all.”


13 – Beyond the Balanced Scorecard | By Mark Graham Brown

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Many companies utilize “Balanced Scorecards” to enhance their performance. Author Mark Graham Brown who is a consultant offers a better understanding of scorecards in his book. He illustrates how you can make multidimensional analytics that will provide you with a better understanding of what you are measuring. He also includes instructions on how to make an analytics-based scorecard to maintain customer relationships, personnel, investment, regulations, and policy. A dedicated chapter is made to acquaint you with how to effectively make scorecards that observe outside factors, which is something that a majority of scorecards ignore. Beyond the Balanced Scorecard: Improving Business Intelligence with Analytics is ideal for individuals who are interested in incorporating scorecards to their business analytics.

Quotes from the Book; 

“People metrics, customer metrics and financial metrics are pretty much the same in most organizations, but the section of the scorecard that deals with operational metrics varies from organization to organization.”

“A typical balanced scorecard today still includes mostly lagging metrics, and every measure is a single statistic designed to measure a complex dimension of performance.”

“A good balanced scorecard should include an analytic that quantifies the level of risk an organization faces.”

“It is important for organizations to know how many of their employees get up each morning and dread coming to work and how many get up each morning looking forward to a new workday.”


14 – Behind Every Good Decision | By Piyanka Jain and Puneet Sharma

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Penned by expert data scientist Puneet Sharma and Piyanka Jain, Behind Every Good Decision: How Anyone Can Use Business Analytics to Turn Data into Profitable Insight offers a sharp and well-thought-out guide on Data Analysis. It offers multiple real-life case studies and a list of the most desirable practices. The authors claim that the fundamentals of Analytics that can be done in Excel can solve 80% of business-related issues as long as it is done right. This result can be achieved even by nonanalytic experts such as marketers and managers. People who have an interest in this topic will surely appreciate this book. Still, for those who do not, you can skip to chapter five, where predictive analytics can be found. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Whatever you do, you will have to explain it to people who aren’t as excited or as involved in the analytics as you are.”

“Analytics is the science of applying a structured method to solve a business problem using data and analysis to drive impact.”

“Simple analytics can actually help you solve 80% of your business problems at a fraction of the cost of complex analytics.”

“Predictive analytics…requires advanced skills and tools, historical data, operationalization, live validation and constant maintenance.”


15 – Data Driven | By Jenny Dearborn

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Data and Data analytics can be complicated for an average individual, but thankfully, this book exists. It has graphics and charts that are easy to understand. Author, Jenny Dearborn is the senior vice president at SAP, has taught data analytics by creating an amusing, moving story of fictional striving sales entities. This is ideal for entrepreneurs, senior executives, managers, and salespeople. This Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results contains the following information;  Data for critical decision making; Encompassing data and results based on decision making;  Yielding ‘actionable insights’;  Silos and Budget metrics; Identifying what influences sales; Select and refinement of data; Essential performance indicator data; Descriptive Analytics; and Preventive Analytics.

Quotes from the Book; 

“As an analytics project progresses and the successes accumulate, many people who were previously skeptics become believers. Some will even become ambassadors and champions.”

“Seek people “who understand the business and can interpret the data and results of the analysis as they apply to your business.”

“Data analytics is most valuable when it is viewed not simply as a tool to solve problems, but as a mind-set to increase overall effectiveness.”

“Creating a holistic, synergistic strategy and a systematic approach to data and sales is an idea whose time has come.”


16 – Developing Human Capital | By Gene Pease, Barbara Beresford, and Lew Walker

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So much has changed in the economy and human resources, which means the conventional understandings of HR and training have become obsolete. Authors Bonnie Beresford, Lew Walker, and Gene Pease, who are learning experts and HR analysts, claim that data is leveraged effectively by professionals and is seen in decision making. Yet, HR officers still rely on instinct and experience. That being said, Developing Human Capital: Using Analytics to Plan and Optimize Your Learning and Development Investments offers useful pieces of advice on how to effectively collect data, especially beyond the fourth chapter. Here is a list of what some of the sections talk about;  The change in the workforce;  Utilization of analysis and rigorous data by Human resource officers;  Training outcome measurement with big data; HR leadership and training; and Predictive Analytics

Quotes from the Book; 

“Measurement doesn’t just happen. It’s a very intentional process and organizations that get it right create a culture of measurement.”

“Optimization is a prescriptive analysis that examines results already achieved to identify where future investments are most needed.”

“When you apply analytics, you no longer need to deploy programs using anecdotes and gut instinct. You have evidence.”

“Learning leaders must ensure that poor results are not punished, but analyzed for improvement. Create an explicit goal for measurement and post it; then live by it.”


17 – Mind + Machine | By Varc Vollenweider

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Evaluserve CEO and Author Mark Vollenweider is an expert in analytics. Part 1 of his manual is a list of analytics-related misconceptions that can help organizations avoid headaches. He later discusses the process of how these can be avoided in part III, as he emphasizes that analytics is functional and sensible. However, given his extensive knowledge in the field, his work can be overwhelming for those who are only beginning to understand analytics. That reason is why this paper is suggested for individuals who have prior knowledge of the topic. Mind + Machine: A Decision Model for Optimizing and Implementing Analytics includes extensive discussion on the following topics;  Myths on analytics and big data; Stages of data; Data processing; Collection of data; Understanding data;  Digital age; and  Personalization.

Quotes from the Book; 

“For the vast majority of use cases, smarter processes supported by some pretty straightforward tools get you 80% there. AI is the 20% icing on the cake.”

“The psychology of analytics is probably its most underestimated and least understood dimension.”

“The right mix of minds is critical for the success of any mind+machine use case.”

“The increased use of machines to support creative minds is a common characteristic of many alternative and smart data use cases.”


18 – The Data Driven Leader | By Jenny Dearborn and David Swanson

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Authors Jenny Dearborn and David Swanson grant a continuation of Dearborn’s triumphant masterpiece, Data Driven. In The Data Driven Leader: A Powerful Approach to Delivering Measurable Business Impact Through Pople Analytics, the writers concentrate on the implementation of data analytics in human resources.  This continues the tale with a brand new fictional character named Anna. Anna is described to be the HR chief officer of a company that utilized data analytics from an HR point of view to identify and resolve corporate issues. The book details the difficulties, knowledge, graphics, performance indicators, and list that she encountered. This well-written piece is suggested for Data Analysts, HR, Corporate leaders, and students who want to have a more in-depth perception of Data Analytics. 

Quotes from the Book; 

“Moving to a data-driven leadership culture – like any change effort – will bring out the best in some people and the worst in others…find allies early, as detractors may be frequent and fervent.”

“Intuition and emotional intelligence, once the hallmarks of successful chief HR officers and HR professionals, are no longer sufficient.”

“Doubling down on what we know, or preferring the status quo to the unknown, may lead us to manage with stale data or ignore indications of shifting metrics or performance drivers.”

“HR leaders wanting to get the full attention of executives must speak the language the C-suite understands: business. Present the business case.”


Final Thoughts

This article was an attempt to consolidate the best books on business analytics. Obviously, the list is not an exhausted list of every book on the subject. However, the ‘best books on business analytics’ list attempt to orchestrate different angles and degrees on business analytics.


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Books Best Books on Business Analytics – Summaries – Quotes