Digital Themes

Business Analytics

What is Business Analytics (BA)?

Business Analytics (BA) refers to the continuous investigation and exploration of past business performance to drive business planning through data visualization and operational awareness. Unlike business intelligence (BI), which uses specific metrics to measure a business's past performance and guide future planning, BA discovers and creates the predictive models based in data science that business intelligence ultimately uses.

Business analytics focuses on observation and understanding, developing important insight into business performance based on data and statistical analysis. BA uses all manner of data and statistical methods, including analytical modeling, numerical analysis, and predictive modeling, Uses for extensive BA vary from insights for human decision-making to prompting fully automated decision-making technology.

Business analytics can be used to address questions like why a specific action is continually happening and what if this trend continues. BA can then predict what could happen if things change or don't change, and determine what the best outcome involves.

Business analytics depends on very high volumes of quality data, often requiring the use of big data technologies (i.e. the organizing and storing of an extremely large amount of data) to analyze the data and inform business decisions. Small samples of data or relative or approximate data can skew results significantly, effectively changing potential outcomes and future planning to catastrophic degrees.

BA integrated services can deliver end-to-end expertise with industry-leading reporting tools, and aid customers in realizing significant business benefits such as increases in accuracy and productivity, faster turnaround times, and lower both risk levels and cost per report. The capabilities of BA and BI include data and system analytics and reporting, and dashboards and scorecards, providing full-service enterprise reporting, analysis, support, migrations, and upgrades to meet all of a business's operational and strategic demands.

What are the stages of Business Analytics?

  1. Descriptive Analysis – Descriptive analytics includes the simple description of data, including sample size, center and spread of data, and the shape and spread of your data distribution. This can yield insight through reports and scorecards.

  2. Predictive Analysis – Predictive analytics involves statistical methods and machine learning to predict future outcomes based on the data's historical trends. This can improve over time, as these types of computer algorithms sharpen automatically overtime.

  3. Prescriptive Analysis – Prescriptive analytics is data analysis with the goal of recommending data-driven decisions such as simulations and optimizations utilizing the information gathered in previous analyses.

  4. Diagnostic Analytics - This step functions as beta testing, aimed at identifying any data-quality issues and explaining how to fix them. This step again functions quicker over time, as new and real-time data become more steadily available.

  5. Decisive Analytics – The final step is to create the models or visual analytics to be used. These models are then used in business intelligence to optimize future planning.
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