What Are Analytics?

What are Analytics?

 

By David Willden

What are Analytics? Too often when the big cheese walks into a room and uses the word “analytics”  all heads  bob up and down in agreement with whatever he is saying.   The secret truth is,  no one really knows exactly what he is rambling about.

 

Define Business Intelligence First

Business intelligence (BI) is the ability of an organization to collect,  maintain and analyze data to help organizations to make smarter and faster decisions. Gartner defines BI as:

an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.

So, What are Business Analytics?

There is overlap between business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA).   Often the terms are used interchangeably.  BA focuses more the interpretation of  data to improve business performance.  BA can be used to:  

  • analyze and optimize the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • examine and improve e-commerce and web activities
  • analyze customer activities and purchasing patterns
  • evaluate,  forecast and increase sales
  • examine and optimize forecasting, budgeting and planning
  • optimize the performance of processes and projects
  • improve the effectiveness of customer relationship management efforts


Comparison/Differences Matrix

Margaret Rouse with “Search Business Analytics” shared the following to example some of the key differences:

What Does BI and BA Mean Combined? 

Enabling businesses to strengthen their decision-making capabilities by applying the latest and best methods of analysis to most important decisions facing them.

How Important is BI and BA?

The volume, velocity and variety of new information sources and the need for new analytical capabilities are increasing presenting challenges and opportunities for organizations.  

Gartner reported that the top CIO technology priorities for 2012 are:  

  • Business Intelligence & Analytics
  • Mobile
  • Cloud
  • Collaboration Technology

Why Are They So Important?

Over 80% of analytic investments have been in producing reports from lagging information.  To compete in the market place in our fast changing world,  decisions need to less “informational”  and more predictive.


Business Intelligence, Mobile and Cloud Top the Technology Priority List for CIOs in Asia: Gartner Executive Programs Survey

Business Intelligence, Mobile and Cloud Top the Technology Priority List for CIOs in Asia: Gartner Executive Programs Survey Asian Businesses are Focused on Growth, Attracting New Customers and Reducing Costs SINGAPORE, September 13, 2012- As CIOs in Asia continue their push for growth, a focus on cost structure, people and processes reflects their increasingly integral role in the business, according to the 2012 Gartner Executive Programs (EXP) CIO Agenda survey.

Putting big data and advanced analytics to work | McKinsey & Company

Big data and analytics have climbed to the top of the corporate agenda-with ample reason. Together, they promise to transform the way many companies do business, delivering performance improvements not seen since the redesign of core processes in the 1990s. As such, these tools and techniques will open new avenues of competitive advantage. Many executives, however, remain unsure about how to proceed. They’re not certain their organizations are prepared for the required changes, and a lot of companies have yet to fully exploit the data or analytics capabilities they currently possess.

What are Analytics?

What are Analytics?