A unified foundation for business analytics

Clyde Holsapple, Anita Lee-Post, Ram Pakath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


Synthesizing prior research, this paper designs a relatively comprehensive and holistic characterization of business analytics - one that serves as a foundation on which researchers, practitioners, and educators can base their studies of business analytics. As such, it serves as an initial ontology for business analytics as a field of study. The foundation has three main parts dealing with the whence and whither of business analytics: identification of dimensions along which business analytics possibilities can be examined, derivation of a six-class taxonomy that covers business analytics perspectives in the literature, and design of an inclusive framework for the field of business analytics. In addition to unifying the literature, a major contribution of the designed framework is that it can stimulate thinking about the nature, roles, and future of business analytics initiatives. We show how this is done by deducing a host of unresolved issues for consideration by researchers, practitioners, and educators. We find that business analytics involves issues quite aside from data management, number crunching, technology use, systematic reasoning, and so forth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Ramakrishnan (Ram) Pakath is Professor of Finance and Quantitative Methods, at the Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Madras), a master’s degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in Management (MIS) from Purdue University. Ram's current research interests lie in the areas of Evolutionary Computation and Data Mining. His research articles have appeared in such refereed forums as Behaviour and Information Technology , Computational Economics , Decision Sciences , Decision Support Systems , European Journal of Operational Research , IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics , Information & Management , Information Systems Research , Journal of Computer Information Systems , and Journal of Electronic Commerce Research. He is author of the book Business Support Systems: An Introduction published by Copley. Ram has contributed refereed material to the following books: Cases on Information Technology Management in Modern Organizations , Decision Support Systems: A Knowledge-based Approach , Handbook on Decision Support Systems 1 — Basic Themes , Handbook of Industrial Engineering , Management Impacts of Information Technology: Perspectives on Organizational Change and Growth , Multimedia Technology and Applications , Security, Trust, and Regulatory Aspects of Cloud Computing in Business Environments , and Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence . He is an Associate Editor of Decision Support Systems and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of End User Computing , Management , and The Open Artificial Intelligence Journal . His research has been funded by IBM, Ashland Oil, the Gatton College, the University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation.


  • Analytics
  • Business analytics
  • Business intelligence
  • Decision making
  • Decision support
  • Evidence-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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