Prahalad’s message in Competing For The Future is clear. Identify, create and then dominate emerging market opportunities before your competitors have the opportunity to exploit them. Applying analytics is suggested to be the best way to achieve that. Many books have been written on how analytics will bring advantages to companies in beating their competition to market dominance. Davenport’s new book Analytics at Work (I wonder where he got the title ;-) ) is another one, it will probably sell big. These books hook up on the global trend that more and more reliable data is becoming available through the use of IT systems. Companies keep track of their business in much more detail, from order to delivery, leading to ever growing piles of data. Mining these mountains of data with computerized analysis, creates new information and insights leading to more fact based decision making. To my opinion these “analytics” books have too much focus on data analysis alone. They focus too little on actually using analytics to learn from past experiences, identify new relationships and push the innovative power of companies to reinvent their business time and time again. Helping them stay ahead of competition. To accomplish that, more is required than just a few data dashboards or regression lines. It’s mathematics or in its applied form Operations Research and the way of thinking that goes with it.