Strategic Analytics

More than ever, data drives decisions in organizations—and we have more data, and more ways to analyze it, than ever. Yet strategic initiatives continue to fail as often as they did when computers ran on punch cards. Economist and research scientist Alec Levenson says we need a new approach. 

The problem, Levenson says, is that the business people who devise the strategies and the human resources people who get employees to implement them use completely different analytics. Business analytics can determine if operational priorities aren’t being achieved but can’t explain why. HR analytics reveal potentially helpful policy and process improvements but can’t identify which would have the greatest strategic impact. 

This book shows how to use an integrated approach to bring these two pieces together. Levenson presents a thorough and realistic treatment of the reasons for and challenges of taking an integrated approach. He provides details on the different parts of both enterprise and human capital analytics that have to be conducted for integration to be successful and includes specific questions to ask, along with examples of applying integrated analytics to address particular organizational challenges.

Effective analytics is a team sport. Levenson’s approach allows you to get the deepest insights by bringing people together from both the business and HR perspectives to assess what’s going on and determine the right solution.

ORDER Strategic Analytics: Advancing Strategy Execution and Organizational Effectiveness at Amazon.


Too many senior executives and HR professionals hide behind a lack of data or incorrectly use data as an absolute decision maker. Strategic Analytics provides a straightforward approach to analyze the right areas to achieve long term impact.

Jeff Joerres, Executive Chairman, ManpowerGroup

Levenson breaks analysis down into a step by step process – showing how to capture data and truly implement analytics in organizations, creating capabilities that drive strategy execution and, ultimately, competitive advantage. A must-read for H.R. professionals who want to build strategic partnerships and drive game changing results.

—Michael Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer, UPS

Informed business and HR leaders know how important it is to connect business and talent outcomes.  They appreciate the need for art and science, but rarely have the methodology or tools to make the science real.  Strategic Analytics helps solve this problem, providing insight on applying big data and analytics to unlock value for leaders and for organizations.

Scott Pitasky, Executive Vice President and Chief Partner Resource Officer, Starbucks

In this fascinating book, Dr. Levenson shows how leaders can make fast and accurate decisions in a world that is ever more complex, addressing the half-truths and unsubstantiated claims that abound in many corporations. A must read for anyone determined to improve their decision making.

—Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

Strategic Analytics addresses one of the key complaints about HR today – that the function is not aligned with driving the business strategy.  Levenson gives a step-by-step approach for leveraging analytics to identify the right levers to drive business strategy and organizational effectiveness. The book is both comprehensive and pragmatic, with thoughtful examples to help HR and business leaders alike.

—Tracy Faber, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, McKesson

Strategic Analytics starts in the right place – winning in the marketplace – and assesses integrated solutions that will outlast individuals.  A wonderful book of useful frameworks and tools.

—Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor of Business Administration, University of Michigan, and partner, The RBL Group

A real breakthrough. Strategic Analytics is a must read for line and human resource executives who strive to make their organization and human resource system a source of strategic advantage. The systemic framework for rigorous diagnosis of organization alignment problems will help executives avoid simple but wrong responses that undermine effective strategy execution.

—Michael Beer, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School, and Co-founder TruePoint

Levenson offers a highly useful framework for sharpening the focus of data analytics within large, complex organizations.  This book cuts through much of the hype surrounding the topic with a pragmatic review of methods that will generate actionable insights within an enterprise.  Strategic Analytics should redirect efforts commonly seen today that often generate large quantities of data without really impacting business results.

—Alan May, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Do you ever feel like you have all the data in the world but still don’t know how to use it or you’re not sure which analytics to use?   So many practitioners don’t solve their organizational issues because analytics without strategy are useless, or their strategies aren’t aligned organizationally so the analytics don’t matter.  In this essential book, Levenson provides meaningful, actionable insights for business leaders and HR practitioners to align strategies and priorities to improve organizational effectiveness AND drive bottom line results.

—Kim Warmbier, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Dean Foods

Strategic Analytics is a must for executives, line managers and HR practitioners seeking to advance analytics of human capital management and understand which interventions will drive tighter linkages between business strategy and execution.

—Patrick McLaughlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Frito-Lay North America, PepsiCo, Inc.

Strategic Analytics is the book we have been waiting for. Levenson provides a roadmap to analyze performance gaps in strategy execution and the causal linkage with how the organization is designed and managed.  He shows the role high performance work design plays in strategy execution, which is the key design area in the new digital modern organization.  This book puts all the pieces together to provide a clear analytic approach to improve organizational effectiveness.

—Stu Winby, CEO, SPRING Network

Getting people and practices aligned to achieve strategy is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in modern management, often made worse by conflicting messages coming from workplace metrics and overall business metrics.  Strategic Analytics offers practical advice on how to straighten out those different measures.  New and much needed guidance for getting strategy execution right.

—Peter Cappelli, Director, Center for Human Resources, Wharton School of Business

Strategic Analytics is a great roadmap for the journey from big data and big confusion to focused and practical sense-making through better business insights. Levenson provides a user-friendly approach for what to analyze, why to analyze it, and how to make more powerful business decisions as a result.

—Ian Ziskin, President, EXec EXcel Group LLC and former Chief Human Resources Officer, Northrop Grumman

Levenson nails the essence of successful analytics work with the statement that “effective analytics is a team sport”.  Up to now analysis in organizations has been a suboptimized, multi-headed monster with each head eating alone.  Strategic Analytics shows how to effectively use a holistic integrated approach.

—Jac Fitz-enz, CEO Human Capital Source

You might also be interested in Alec's other books: