Top 10 moments in the history of business analytics


(Sometimes the ROI is never having to say you're sorry.)

5000 BC: Grog uses two sticks and four rocks to graph the upward trend in sales of his new invention, the wheel.

3200 BC: Sumerian analysts predict the world's use of letters will be greater than Mesopotamia's supply of clay tablets by 3,000BC. Analysts suggest something called "papyrus" may solve the problem.

44BC: Roman leader Caesar receives analysts’ prediction that March will be a "down month," but disregards the data.

1508: Michelangelo uses an advanced abacus to estimate the amount of paint needed to cover the Sistine Chapel.

1590: The Globe Theatre of London text mines peasants' comments after a play by a fellow named "Shakespeare" and decides to ask him to write more plays like the last one.

Henry Ford conducts a What-If analysis that makes clear that limiting the Model-T to one color, black, is the best way to maximize profits.

1962: The Beatles manager uses early marketing automation software to reveal that Ringo should not sing lead on "I Want to Hold Your Hand." John and Paul take over on the microphones.

1969: Woodstock ends in financial disaster after organizers rely on spreadsheets to estimate attendance. Hippies dance anyway.

1976: Analysts’ predictions that this will be the bicentennial of the United States are fulfilled. World gains sudden interest in the power of predictive analytics.

1976: SAS is formed and begins to give businesses The Power to Know.

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About Author

Elliot Inman

Manager, Software Development

Elliot Inman, Ph.D., is a Manager of Software Development for SAS® Global Hosting and US Professional Services. Over the past 25 years, he has analyzed a wide variety of data in areas as diverse as the effectiveness of print and digital advertising, social service outcomes analysis, healthcare claims analysis, employee safety, educational achievement, clinical trial monitoring, sales forecasting, risk-scoring and fraud analytics, general survey analysis, performance benchmarking, product pricing, text processing, and basic scientific research on human memory and cognitive processes. After completing his undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1997. In 2005, he started at SAS as an Analytical Consultant. In 2010, he joined SAS Solutions OnDemand (now SAS Global Hosting), SAS’ high performance cloud computing center. His current focus is on implementing SAS Visual Analytics to provide non-statisticians deeper insight into the results of data mining and machine learning models. He leads the Visual Analytics data visualization team for SAS' GatherIQ data for good platform. In addition to his work at SAS, he has led makerspace and creative coding workshops for college students who want to explore a different way of using technology to do cool and useful things.

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