Research and Publications

Ongoing Research

The Center for Business Analytics is currently engaged in the following research projects:

Use of Cloud Analytics on Multiple Devices

More and more, companies are exploring how they can expand the use of analytic applications by giving mobile devices such as tablets to their employees. The explosion in the use of these mobile devices has led to many new analytics applications by software vendors and companies themselves. Some companies will simply export an analytics application from an existing laptop platform to a tablet. However, there are a variety of differences between tablets and laptops such as screen size, navigation paths, and touch screens that make the user experience of using them quite different. From the existing research it is not clear how well users perform analytics tasks on these different devices. This research compares how user performance on the same analytic task varies according to three scenarios: using a laptop while seated, using a tablet while seated, and using a tablet when walking. It is hoped that this research will provide better guidance on how companies can incorporate these various devices and improve user performance overall and improve their analytics strategy in particular.

Development of Analytics Capabilities within Organizations

The increasing use of data-driven decision making and “big data” is leading organizations to invest in analytics software and services. However, little is known about the type of analytics capabilities within IT that are required and whether there is a common progression or development model of analytics capabilities. This research explores the relationships between levels of distinct analytics capabilities as they develop within organizations. The results lead to a progression of analytics capabilities within organizations. The findings provide guidance in assessing organizations’ relative capabilities in analytics and the progression path they might follow. This study draws on data obtained from firms that participated in a series of intensive workshops held by IBM over 2009–2011.

Factors Influencing the Decision to Invest in Analytics

Analytics remains a highly important IT investment priority. However, little is known about the characteristics of firms that decide to invest in analytics. Do the factors that influence IT investment intensity also relate to investing in analytics? This research investigates those factors that influence a firm’s decision to invest in analytics. This study draws on data obtained from firms that participated in a series of intensive workshops held by IBM over 2009–2011.

The Effect of Supply Chain Performance on Financial Performance

Effective and efficient supply chains are considered critical to a firm’s success. Supply chain managers understandably assume that there is a strong correlation between improved supply chain performance and improved overall financial performance. However, this question has not been rigorously studied. This research investigates the extent to which higher levels of performance in a supply chain lead to improvements in the firm’s overall financial performance. Using historical supply chain metrics from a sample of firms we investigate whether there are implicit supply chain strategies as evinced by levels of supply chain cost and service metrics that lead to higher levels of financial performance in firms. This study draws on data that were obtained from an SAP supply chain benchmarking study.

Revisiting the Ranking of Outstanding American Professional Sports Records

Over 25 years ago Golden and Wasil (1987) published a paper in the journal Interfaces presenting the use of a decision making method called the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for ranking outstanding sports records. Since then much has changed with respect to sports and sports records, the application and theory of the AHP, and the availability of the internet for accessing data. In this paper we revisit the ranking of outstanding sports records and build on past work, focusing on a comprehensive set of records from the four major American professional sports. We interviewed and corresponded with two sports experts and applied an AHP-based approach that features both the traditional pairwise comparison and the AHP rating method to elicit the necessary judgments from these experts. The most outstanding sports records are presented, discussed and compared to Golden and Wasil’s results from a quarter century earlier.


Bruce Pollack-Johnson, PhD, Suzanne Clain, PhD, Matthew Liberatore, PhD., and Carolyn Martin, “Assessing the Factors Influencing Analytics Investment Priorities Across Organizations,” Proceedings of the International Decision Sciences Institute and Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute Conference, Bali, Indonesia, July 9 – 13, 2013.

Liberatore, M., and Luo, W., “ASP, the Art and Science of Practice: A Comparison of Technical and Soft Skills Required by Analytics and OR Professionals,” Interfaces, Vol. 43, No. 2 (March-April 2013), 194 – 197. 

The Role of Performance Metrics and Analytics in Churches”, The Ledger, Vol. 32 No. 3 Fall 2013, pp. 42-43. Charles Zech.

Myers, Bret "A proposed decision rule for the timing of soccer substitutions" Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. Vol. 8, No.1 (March 2012), pages 1-24.

Liberatore, M., and Luo, W., “INFORMS and the Analytics Movement: The View of the Membership,” Interfaces, Vol. 41, No 6 (November-December 2011), 578 – 589.

Liberatore, M., and Luo, W., “The Analytics Movement: Implications for Operations Research,” Interfaces, Vol. 40, No. 4 (July-August 2010), 313 - 324.

Coghlan, T., Diehl, G., Karson, E., Liberatore, M., Luo, W., Nydick, R., Pollack-Johnson, B., and Wagner, W., The Current State of Analytics in the Corporation: The View from Industry Leaders,” International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, Vol. 1, No. 2 (2010), 1 - 8.

Contact Us

Matthew Liberatore, PhD
Contact for: Analytics research projects, MS in Analytics, MBA Concentration in Analytics.

Thomas Coghlan
Business Fellow
Contact for: Speaker programs, Advisory Council, CBA membership, Analytics consulting projects.

Sharon Ballard
Program Coordinator

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