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In the digital era, business analytics has emerged as a ‘superhero tool’ in the manager’s arsenal for helping organisations to develop innovative new products and processes that will add to the bottom line.

Analytics can be used to ‘splice and dice’ real-time data from multiple information sources – using sophisticated techniques such as algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning – to uncover deep insights about business performance, and highlight opportunities to create added value. However, it’s not a silver-bullet solution.

Professor Rajeev Sharma of Waikato Management School will explain why analytics doesn’t always live up to its full potential, and what organisations can do to fix that situation, at a free public lecture on Tuesday 21 May called ‘I invested a million dollars in business analytics but what did I get for it?'.

A former electrical engineer, Professor Sharma has more than 20 years’ experience in research and consulting work. He has ranked as one of the world’s top 10 research scholars in the field of management information systems and his publications have more than 2500 Google Scholar citations.

The lecture is part of the Hamilton Public Lecture Series, which introduces the University’s newest professors to the community and gives them a chance to demonstrate how their work is having a real impact on the world around us.

Professor Sharma and his colleagues have identified a four-step ‘winning formula’ for organisations to realise the true value of their business analytics.

“The problem is that analytics is not a killer application,” he says. “To innovate successfully, an organisation’s senior managers must show a sustained commitment to actioning those data-driven insights through ongoing investment in second-stage innovation projects. You also need talented, experienced staff who demonstrate a high level of technical and entrepreneurial skills, and have the competency to evaluate risk and make good business decisions.”

This free public lecture will be held in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Gate 2B, Knighton Road, Hamilton, starting at 5.45pm. Complimentary drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm. Please register your attendance online.

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