Thomas Davenport has written several excellent books and articles on how analytics has become key for business success. If you want to have a brief and brilliant overview on the subject, his presentation in SlideShare wonderfully describes the evolution of analytics from 1.0 to 3.0, where it is used for achieving a real competitive edge. His article in December issue of HBR expands the topic, and is a must-read for everyone wanting to understand more about the analytics-driven revolution in business, also in Industrial Internet.

In Finland, where we have had spectacular successes of gaming companies, the importance of analytics for business should be very well-understood - that is what the great gaming companies do very well. The success of LinkedIn, Google, Amazon etc. is also based on extremely efficient and business-based use of analytics to create new services extremely fast. But analytics is just as important for B2B and traditional manufacturing industries. Davenport gives great examples on companies which are over 100 years old and in the forefront of utilizing Analytics 3.0 for competitive advantage. In addition to GE, he talks e.g. about Schneider Electric, Procter & Gamble, Intern-Continental Hotels and Monsanto.

Davenport stresses the fact that Analytics 3.0 needs to be brought to C-level. Companies should have a Chief Analytics Officer to ensure that Analytics 3.0 gets the weight it needs - it will, after all, drive the product and service development. The key is to understand deeply what to analyze. It is not about bug data as such, it is about deep understanding of correlation and causality, and why they are different.

(Picture from Davenport presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/boscolg/analytics-30measurable-business-impact-from-analytics-big-data?from_search=5)