Tom Davenport

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Pioneer of the Concept of “Competing on Analytics;” Leading Expert on Using Artificial Technologies in Business; Professor of Information Technology and Management, Babson College; Co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics; Fellow of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy; Senior Advisor, Deloitte Analytics

Biography

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, fellow of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy, and a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics.

One of HBR’s most frequently published authors, Davenport has been at the forefront of the process innovation, knowledge management, and analytics and big data movements. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his 2006 HBR article and his 2007 book by the same name. Since then, he has continued to provide cutting-edge insights on how companies can use analytics and big data to their advantage, and then on artificial intelligence. Davenport’s book, co-authored with Julia Kirby, “Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines” offers tangible tools for individuals who need to work with cognitive technologies. In his latest book, “The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work,” he provides a guide to using artificial technologies in business.

HBR editors highlighted Davenport’s latest ideas in the “10 Must Reads 2017: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year” and again in the 2019 issue. One of his articles is also in the new “10 Must Reads on AI, Analytics, and the New Machine Age.” Davenport was also named one of ten “Top Voices” by LinkedIn–in 2016 for education and in 2018 for technology. He has also been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world, one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry and one of the world’s top 50 business school professors by Fortune magazine. He has written or edited 20 books and over 250 print or digital articles for Harvard Business Review (HBR), Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and many other prestigious publications.

Davenport earned his doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, the Tuck School of Business, Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Davenport is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation for Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

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May 4, 2020

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April 8, 2020

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March 27, 2020

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January 27, 2020

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January 3, 2020

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Don't Fear the Future

Winter 2019

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November 19, 2019

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November 12, 2019

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October 30, 2019

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October 28, 2019

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October 8, 2019

Wall Street Journal logo

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September 29, 2019

Wall Street Journal logo

The State of AI in the Enterprise

September 13, 2019

Collaborate Smarter, Not Harder

September 10, 2019

If You Want to See the Benefits of AI, Forget Moonshots and Think Boring

September 4, 2019

Self-Driving Companies are Coming

August 29, 2019

How to Tame "Automation Sprawl"

July 19, 2019

When to Stop Deliberating and Just Make a Decision

July 9, 2019

What Does an AI Ethicist Do?

June 24, 2019

Enterprise AI: Think Big, Start Small

May 1, 2019

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Early Adopters Bullish on Business Value of Cognitive

January 23, 2018

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How to Outflank the Competition with Analytics

December 14, 2017

Application of AI for Knowledge Management

Competing on Analytics

January 2006

Intro Video

Video Thumbnail2017-05 The Cognitive Company: Incremental Present, Transformational Future - youtube Video

A-Z Name

Davenport, Tom

Biography

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, fellow of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy, and a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics.

One of HBR’s most frequently published authors, Davenport has been at the forefront of the process innovation, knowledge management, and analytics and big data movements. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his 2006 HBR article and his 2007 book by the same name. Since then, he has continued to provide cutting-edge insights on how companies can use analytics and big data to their advantage, and then on artificial intelligence. Davenport’s book, co-authored with Julia Kirby, “Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines” offers tangible tools for individuals who need to work with cognitive technologies. In his latest book, “The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work,” he provides a guide to using artificial technologies in business.

HBR editors highlighted Davenport’s latest ideas in the “10 Must Reads 2017: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year” and again in the 2019 issue. One of his articles is also in the new “10 Must Reads on AI, Analytics, and the New Machine Age.” Davenport was also named one of ten “Top Voices” by LinkedIn–in 2016 for education and in 2018 for technology. He has also been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world, one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry and one of the world’s top 50 business school professors by Fortune magazine. He has written or edited 20 books and over 250 print or digital articles for Harvard Business Review (HBR), Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and many other prestigious publications.

Davenport earned his doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, the Tuck School of Business, Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Davenport is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation for Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Four Eras of Analytics

There have been four different approaches for applying analytics to business over the last half century. Some organizations still practice Analytics 1.0 (the artisanal era), while others are actively pursuing Analytics 4.0 (the cognitive era). Each era requires different management of both analytics and the underlying data. In this presentation, Tom Davenport describes the attributes of each era, the drivers of change, and the valuable lessons that each era provides. He provides examples of 3.0 and 4.0 organizations (in healthcare and other industries) and the business, technology and human issues with which they are wrestling.

The Cognitive Corporation

Cognitive technologies, also known as artificial intelligence, offer the possibility of new and potentially disruptive opportunities to many businesses today. A growing number of firms are already achieving significant benefits and are building ongoing capabilities to develop and use these technologies. In this presentation, Tom Davenport describes the constellation of cognitive technologies and some of the most prominent enterprise use cases for each. He contrasts “moon shot” projects with “low hanging fruit” uses of AI that are much likely to be successful. He also discusses the strategies and steps companies can take to incorporate cognitive capabilities into their businesses. Examples of successful early adopters make tangible the potential of this important new factor in competitive success.

Making Different — and Better — Decisions

In this talk, Tom Davenport describes the results from his most recent research study on the new landscape of decision-making. He argues that recent decision failures mean that organizations need to systematically examine their approaches to making key decisions. He defines how organizations improve decisions through:

    • Different opinions and dissent in the decision process
    • Different alternatives, such as the wisdom of crowds
    • Findings from neuroscience and behavioral economics
    • Different blends of analytics and intuition
    • Different relationships between analysts and decision-makers

He draws upon interviews with more than 50 companies about how they have actually improved particular decision processes.

Competing on Analytics

Companies have long used business intelligence for specific applications, but these initiatives were too narrow to affect corporate performance. Now, leading firms are basing their competitive strategies on the sophisticated analysis of business data. Instead of a single application, they are building broad capabilities for enterprise-level business analytics and intelligence. These strategies are driven by senior executives who insist on fact-based decisions. In this talk, Tom Davenport describes his recent research on firms that compete on the basis of their analytical prowess and provides guidelines for adopting similar approaches.

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