What are Analytics?

What are Analytics?

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.

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    What are Analytics?