book, “Keeping up With the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using
Analytics” by Thomas davenport and Jinho Kim, is a gentle introduction given to
the use of analytics in business set-ups. The work gives direction on
analytical thinking and gives a defined framework that organizations can use to
foster such thinking (Glogowski 8). This is explained in seven chapters as
chapter one, the authors explain the reasons why everyone needs data in this
era. In this chapter, the authors show that data use support decision making in
organizations. Additionally, the book defines analytics as the widespread use
of statistical, quantitative, and data analysis. The book further classifies
analytics into three groups namely; predictive, prescriptive, optimization, or
descriptive (Glogowski 8).
most organizations have adopted the use of big data, which in this case refers
to unusually large data volumes that are normally unstructured. The data
gathering devices and the ubiquitous computers are what enable the growth of
the potential of the big data.
chapter two, the authors explain the different steps of quantitative analyses.
The first step is the problem recognition, which is the most significant part
of problem solving and is normally done by managers and other decision makers.
An issue of important consideration in this step is the stakeholder analysis,
which shows the major decision makers and how the results of the analysis are
likely to influence their decision making. It is also important to focus on the
decision to be made in an attempt to solve the problem. From this point,
considering how one will provide answers for the problem is the next step
(Glogowski 26). The scope of the problem is then defined.
second step is a review of previous findings, which can be done through
internet search or reading through books. This involves reviewing the specific
problem. One example of analytical thinking case is the case of People v Collins (Glogowski 36).
chapter three, the book talks about solving the actual problem. Here, the book
gives details on how to find a quantitative analyst to help in solving the
problem. The first step in solving the problem is that of the identification of
variables or modelling. The fourth step is data collection and measuring the
variables through methods, such as binary variables, numerical, categorical,
and ordinary variables. This chapter systematically appreciates the inherent
values of both primary and secondary data. The fifth step here is that of data
analysis (Glogowski 53).
this chapter identifies the models that analysts use to think and make data
decisions analytically. The authors also mention in this chapter some important
statistical techniques, such as ANOVA and causality. Because of the continued
changes in data characteristics and quantity, this chapter identifies the need
for changing of the models.
four of this book is about communication and acting on the results. This is the
sixth stage of the analysis, which is the presentation of results and action.
This means telling a story with the use of data. It involves making informed
decisions on what not to include while presenting the results. This chapter
gives some modern examples of methods that can be used to communicate results.
Additionally, the authors, in this chapter, list some static visual analytics’
types, which, however, seem to be outdated by the more interactive and dynamic
ones (Glogowski 83).
from the reports of analyses, this chapter identifies some other outputs of
analytical projects most of which are realized from changes within the systems
of the organizations. However, there is also a possibility that the results may
not imply any action.
five of this book is about creativity and quantitative analysis. Creativity and
quantitative analysis go hand in hand. This chapter reviews the six steps of
analytical thinking. Creative analytical thinking has got four main stages
namely; preparation, immersion, incubation, and insight. The major sources of
insight and creativity have hard work and immersion as the main sources.
Creative analytical thinking and the insight therein are not random and innate
characteristics (Glogowski 109).
finding in a given set of data is quite significant in analytical creativity.
It is, therefore, important to note that creativity and analytical thinking are
highly related as creativity is a requirement for quantitative analysis.
six of this book is about development of capabilities of quantitative analysis.
In this chapter, the writers begin by reviewing Aristotle’s idea on what shapes
human life as being represented by thoughts, which culminates into actions,
which become habits that finally become one’s destiny. This means that one’s
quantitative attitudes form their quantitative habits (Glogowski 132).
growing globalization is making the use of numerical data in organizations
unavoidable. Additionally, high levels of curiosity regarding numbers can
easily increase any one’s ability to understand numbers. Additionally,
quantitative attitude and quantitative knowledge are both related. This
together with asking questions can equally help people to quantitatively
understand the law of probability.
seven of this book is all about working with quants. This involves the
effective use of analytics in business to enhance strong functional
relationships between different corporate groups and decision makers. Intuition and instincts can be significantly
combined for sound financial judgment. It is the responsibility of the
executives to understand specific models of analytics introduced into the
business (Glogowski 162).
understanding the assumptions inherent in a model is to get knowledge on what
makes the model useful, as all models are based on assumptions. However, math
background or statistics is not a requirement for working with quants and to
leverage the inherent analytics power.
Impact of the Book
book, “keeping up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics”
by Jinho Kim and Thomas Davenport, offers several practical tools for
improvement one’s general understanding and use of data analytics. These tools
play a significant role in enhancing the ability of a person to think
critically and make informed decisions (Glogowski).
of the major ways in which the book proves to be successful in communicating
its message on the significance and the understanding of data analytics
techniques is the various examples it uses to give its illustrations. A good
example is the fascinating details given about how different successful
companies, such as Verizon wireless, Intel, and TD Bank applied the use of
analytics to help the managers in making critical decisions and in making data
scientists gain the capability to understand one another better for more
effective collaboration (Glogowski 76).
This book also proves to be beneficial to business executives,
as it gives perfect professional foundation for future and present business
professionals who want to have a better and established grounding in
understanding and using data results in business organizations. It gives great
insights for data understanding and analysis in the growing world of data for
making sound business decisions.
In a world where globalization has made the use of data
unavoidable for organizations, the executives and people intending to work in
these organizations need a deeper and more advanced understanding of the
techniques and processes of analytical thinking. The book not only shows
learners how to read and interpret but also how to glean notable value from any
volume of data.
Additionally, “Keeping up With the Quants” is relevant to the
class of quantitative analysis for business operations as it helps in gaining
greater understanding into the ways in which big data can be utilized as a
useful primer in business organization. This helps in preparing professionals
who are potential decision makers in businesses.
In addition, it is apparent that digital data is becoming
even more abundant (McKinsey Global Institute). This means that it is essential for people to gain
quantitative analytics skills. Hence, “Keeping up with the Quants” provides a
better and more focused guide into negotiating the bends to this landscape in
the ever changing data era. Additionally, this helps in developing informed
people with potentials of being part of the quants in future. This knowledge is,
therefore, quite significant, as it helps foster a good relationship of
understanding for better operation among the analytical scientists (Glogowski
For the class of Quantitative Analysis for Business
Operations, this book proves to be relevant in the sense that it brings every
student up to speed with the fact that the path to knowledge cannot be
separated from advanced data analysis. As such, this study provides the
necessary guidance required to enable the stakeholders to integrate analytics
in their decision making processes or to be able to have better and more
functional conversations with the quants within the organizations in which they
fact that globalization is changing the face of many organizations is no
secrete. As such, the use of big data in organizations seems to be the future
face of virtually almost all the large organizations in the world. As such,
data analytics is the future and not just a fad. This book, therefore, provides
the best solution for those who are looking for a competitive data edge, hence,
a perfect fit for students of Quantitative Analysis for Business Operations in
the Quantitative Analysis for Business Operations class comprises of potential
quants, this book is relevant, as it shapes such category of people for the
future. The reason for this is that it provides a successful and practical
methodology that can be useful for communication with the non-quants who may
have little knowledge of their business practices. This is because this kind of
communication is equally important for both the quants and those with whom they
work. Essentially, communication has to be understood from both directions and
this is what this book offers direction for (Hoerl, Roger, Ronald and Richard).
concept of creativity as highlighted in the book shows how different levels of
creativity are often ignored by people or executives when considering the work
of the quants. This part is useful because it helps dispel the notion that most
people have that analytical thinking does not require creativity (Hoerl, Snee, and De Veaux). This means that
analytical thinking techniques can help decision makers to capitalize on the
inherent value that can be extracted from the large volumes of data available
In summary, “Keeping up with the Quants” is a
book that gives practical guidance on problem solving for organizations using
scientific and analytical thinking methods together with business practices
that are sound for growth. By defining direction for business organizations on
dealing with the growing volumes of data and extracting value from these data
sets, this book proves to be a useful tool for both students of quantitative
data analysis and data experts in general. It is more beneficial, since it
teaches on the culture of numerical data analysis, which is unavoidably
becoming the norm of information in organizations as they attain substantial