The Sentient Enterprise: New Business Book Focuses on Future of Analytics


A Wall Street Journal Bestseller, ‘The Sentient Enterprise’ Details How People, Process and Analytics Will Significantly Transform the Nature of Business

Teradata, the leading data and analytics company, announced the general availability of a new book by Oliver Ratzesberger, of Teradata, and Mohan Sawhney, of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, that presents a bold vision into the future of analytics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in an increasingly digital world.

Oliver Ratzesberger
Oliver Ratzesberger

“Executives understand that they have to act now to get ahead of a rapidly changing, digital world. The Sentient Enterprise is a North Star, a specific set of business-wide capabilities, for enterprises to create a culture of data-first decision-making at scale,” Ratzesberger, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Teradata said.

“In a world where every home, pocket and purse has countless real-time, smart and self-serve apps, enterprises are embarrassingly behind the curve. The Sentient Enterprise is an essential set of capabilities for enterprises to institutionalize an analytics culture and make autonomous decisions at massive scale, in real-time,” Mohan Sawhney, recognized scholar, thought leader, speaker and professor at Northwestern Kellogg said.

Mohan Sawhney is the McCormick Foundation chair of technology, clinical professor of marketing and the director of the Center for Research in Technology and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His research currently focuses on modern marketing, organic growth and business innovation. Professor Sawhney advises and speaks to Global 2000 firms and government worldwide.

Also read: Independent Research Reports Name Teradata a Leader in Customer Journey Analytics

‘The Sentient Enterprise’ details a layered, five-stage journey through progressively more advanced ‘platforms’ of capabilities, resulting in agile enterprises that intuitively connect people, processes, data and outcomes. The book recounts success stories from companies on the journey like Dell, Verizon Wireless, eBay, General Motors, Siemens, Volvo, Wells Fargo and other organizations that have transformed their business practices through analytics. It forecasts enterprise decision-making so proactive and automated that the organization will eventually become more self-aware and ‘sentient’.

The foreword by Thomas H. Davenport, distinguished professor at Babson College and fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy says, “Historically, the creation of analytics was a somewhat unstructured and ‘artisanal’ activity, driven by individual human hypotheses and curiosity. … But with the five ‘platforms’ described in this book, analytics can move well beyond the artisanal stage. They are a linked set of capabilities for making analytics operational, production-based and shared across the enterprise — a high-volume manufacturing operation for data and analytics-based decisions.”

The book summarizes what it means to be ‘sentient’, serving as a roadmap for organizations struggling to make decisions at the speed of data.  It outlines five foundational qualities of a sentient enterprise:

  • Proactive and able to sense micro-trends signaling the next opportunity, or alerting the next crisis
  • Frictionless because the business can act as a single organism without any impedance or bottlenecks created by silos
  • Autonomous to listen to data and make decisions in real-time without much human intervention
  • Scalable to any size company and able to leverage unlimited data for making decisions
  • Evolving through intelligence that is native and emergent

Prior to Teradata, Ratzesberger spent seven years at eBay, leading its data warehouse and big data platform programs. As head of Teradata R&D, he now oversees a global organization including more than 1,900 technologists around the world.

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