Book Review: The Economics of Data, Analytics and Digital Transformation

Author: Bill Schmarzo

First published: November 2020

Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. UK.

ISBN 978-1-80056-1410

I had the privilege to get a review copy from this book. The book is written so the reader can take it forward and act on it. It emphasises the value of continuous learning which I believe is very important. When I first got a copy from the book, I didn’t know what to expect. The title was intriguing, can someone finally link Economics to Data Analytics? Reading through the pages, I was really impressed. It was insightful and very well written. The book is as rich in content as the title suggests.

In the preface Bill Schmarzo writes “If you want to change the game, change the frame”, I believe that this is how professionals in Data Analytics and Transformation should think. If we want to move forward, we need to let go of outdated concepts and change our mindsets.  I couldn’t help the idea of writing a proper review in my blog to share some the book with my network. Below are some of the concepts the book dives in:

  1. Value-Driven not Data-Driven: Data is not useful as a standalone. What drives value to organisations is how we use the data available. Without Data we can’t create value but if we don’t know what value we want to drive we might miss collecting the right data or even analysing valuable data available already available in the organisation.
  2. Big Data Business Model Maturity Index: The author sets the scene starting with Big Data Business Model Maturity Index and discusses important definitions. He covers the importance of Data Assets, laws of Digital transformation, creating innovation culture and other terms. Based on my personal experience, the BDBMMI is helpful when working on projects and is useful if you are leading Data Analytics in an organisation. I always refer to it as the road to reach the destination. You can get lost if you don’t know the destination and the major towns you need to stop for fuel and food.
  3. Artificial Intelligence: The “The Economics of Artificial Intelligence” was one of the topics brilliantly covered in the book. The author mentions that it is an eye-opening chapter, and it is. Bill uses two case studies to demonstrate the importance of Artificial Intelligence walking the reader through why orphaned analytics is a challenge and sharing important learning lessons from Google and Tesla.
  4. The Schmarzo Economic Digital Asset Valuation Theorem: This theorem was created by the author and covered in details, he believes that the explanation in the book can demonstrate why he is worthy of a Nobel Prize in Economics. The theorem covers single curated data lake, reusing data and analytics models, refinements of analytics modules and others. Approaching Data Analytics from the economics side is something usually missed, most people debate the accounting treatment or just the business case of Data Analytics for the company. It is a relief to see it covered in this depth and across the different chapters.
  5. Innovation Culture: Digital Transformation requires strength, learning from mistakes and agility. Having a company culture that embraces change, understands the impact of analytics on business models and empowers teams is very important in Data Analytics. The book covers the culture needed for Data Analytics more and gives very useful examples.

Highly recommend the book, very insightful and Bill’s writing style addresses advanced topics in a very simple way – Wish Bill gets Noble Prize for his Theorem!

My Amazon Review:

#analyticsdrivenstrategy #dataanalytics #modelling #scenarioanalysis #datascience #dataengineering #business #datascience

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