A brief but comprehensive overview of data analytics that asserts its centrality to contemporary commerce.
According to debut author Rushton, the birth of data analytics is coeval with the marriage of computing technology and business, as its awesome power to generate unprecedented efficiencies became apparent. However, the author contends, it mainly became a means for automating transactions rather than a way to “uncover previously hidden opportunities, act on them, and create tremendous value.” Most attempts to mine the full value of an analytics project are “fraught with failure,” he says. He goes on to make a persuasive argument businesses should make data analytics—“the process of sourcing data, turning that data into information, using that information to generate insights, and then implementing those insights to monetize your data”—a strategic priority. In consistently accessible language, the author describes not only the basic principles of data analytics, but also managerial principles of “proper governance” and ways that data can become actionable and profitable; specifically, he uses case studies from businesses such as Southwest Airlines, who found a way to use data to minimize customers’ travel delays. Also, he furnishes a synoptic but edifying overview of the historical attempt to combine customer personalization with scalability. This isn’t a book designed for statisticians but for business professionals, “regardless of industry or department,” who want to unlock data analytics’ potential. Rushton’s expertise is beyond reproach—he has worked for major companies like Verizon and IBM and is a founding member of Armeta Analytics. His prose style, however, can be grating at times; for example, he often didactically poses rhetorical questions and is prone to shopworn banalities such as, “Here’s the reality: if you’re staying put, then you’re falling behind.” Nevertheless, this remains an impressively exhaustive overview of the data-analytics field and its possibilities, conveyed with helpfully illustrative examples.
A useful tour of an increasingly important aspect of business.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)