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Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results by Jenny Dearborn

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Chapter 7Predicting What's Ahead

Five months had passed since the kickoff of the sales data initiative, and the conference room that had been set up as a war room did indeed look like the scene of a battle. Housekeeping had strict orders not to disturb anything in the room, so empty pizza boxes, coffee cups, and soda cans littered a conference table that was piled high with system reports, graphs, charts, and dashboard mockups. All four walls of the room were filled with Dry Erase scribbling, flip-chart paper, and sticky notes.

No one else was in the room at that moment, so Pam sat down at a laptop and scrolled through the wiki of notes and action items that Stacy had kept up-to-date. She was already familiar with all of the entries, but she found it both helpful and satisfying to reread them from time to time to track their progress. She found herself looking at an entry dated April 14:

Henry has informed us that he will need to phase out of his current role by July 31, so he can start his own business. We need to put a big push on finishing the predictive analytics project.

She randomly flipped to the May 2 entry:

Jennifer Chan, B.S. in applied mathematics from MIT and MBA from Stanford, will start in two weeks, as soon as she completes her graduate program. She will assume the role Henry has been playing when Henry leaves. Jennifer will be responsible for building out our internal analytics capability.

“How do you think we're doing, Pam?”

Pam raised her eyes to see Stacy ...

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