TomDavenportThomas H. Davenport, a MarketShare Advisory Board member and Distinguished Professor of IT at Babson College, is the author of a new article "Analytics 3.0” in the December 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review. The article describes a new era of analytics where companies now turn to building analytical power into customer products and services.

Until now, analytics have been used mainly for improving internal decision making processes. But the new strategic focus is toward using analytics to deliver more value to customers, with major implications for how analytics are approached within organizations. “Today it isn’t just online and information firms that can create products and services from analyses of data. It’s every firm in every industry,” he says. According to Davenport, in the era of Analytics 3.0, managers must drive efforts on at least ten fronts, from creatively combining data management approaches to shaping new analytics-focused roles to setting guidelines for responding to digital smoke signals.

“One thing is clear,” says Davenport, who is also a fellow at MIT’s Center for Digital Business, a senior adviser to Deloitte Analytics, and a cofounder of the International Institute for Analytics, “the new capabilities required can’t be developed using old models for how analytics supported the business. Companies that want to prosper in the new data economy must fundamentally rethink how the analysis of data can create value...”