Written byPradeeponMay 9, 2014
Advanced information technology has brought a massive paradigm shift in every aspect of human life. We spend more and more of our working hours on the digital screens, either generating or aggregating digital data. Internet, what would have seemed something unimaginable only a few decades ago, has become an essential part of our daily businesses.
If there are two words that truly speak about the ongoing process of paradigm shift brought about by advanced IT, they are ‘data’ and ‘analytics’. In fact, the real value and significance of data remains unknown until it is collected, cleaned, clustered and interpreted, or, in other words, it is put under the magnifying glass of analytics.
Analytics lies at the heart of all the efforts of making sense of data. It is a process of getting the relevant data, discovering the meaningful patterns in the datasets, and developing business intelligence and insights for guiding the future strategies and actions.
According to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, ‘Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.’
Analysis Vs. Analytics
So, how does analytics stand apart from analysis?
It is data that makes all the difference between these terms and their practice. While analytics is fully dependent on data for discovering tangible results, reaching to the new conclusions, confirming an assumption or developing new insights, analysis is guided by theoretical assumptions. In brief, the difference is the difference between estimation/assumption vs. observation.
Because analytics is a process of extracting valuable insights from the vast resource of data and deploying those insights in strategic or tactical decision making, the practice of data analytics has grown phenomenally with the growth of Big Data.
It is, however, not the case that analytics is all about machine generated metrics. Instead, it is about backing human intuition and intellect with actionable data.
Data-driven and Analytics-based BI
Interestingly, there are a large number of analytics in practice today. Big Data analytics, business analytics, location analytics, predictive analytics, social media analytics, text analytics (text mining), web analytics, workforce analytics, visual analytics are some examples of the analytics in wider currency today, applied for generating smart business intelligence.
Real time data analytics has become so essential a part of running and promoting business in the age of Big Data and social network revolution that powerful search engines and social media networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc. offer built-in analytics and webmaster tools to provide their users with important insights into their metrics. Needless to talk about the ever growing business of analytics softwares and services.
There is enough data to support the fact that Big Data and data analytics can make a big difference to a business. Following are some of the reasons why you should consider incorporating data analytics into your business decisions:
- Increase the visibility of your business performance
- Maximize the effectiveness of your data with predictive modeling and proactive action
- Identify potential customers and carry out effective communication with them
- Observe customer behavior and develop insight-based marketing plans and strategies
- Discover underlying patterns and correlations and develop actionable insights
- Interpret the data on the broader spectrum and apply the findings into the decision-making process
- Assess the efficiency of the organizational structure and leverage its agility
- Improve ROI with effective expenditure allocation
- Develop competitive edge in the increasingly complex digital market
According to Jeremy Rifkin, an economic and social theorist, the advanced digital technologies and internet have brought the global economy closer to the third industrial revolution. He believes that data, algorithms, and analytics are going to play a major role in this direction.
Grepsr has observed and experienced a great leap in the use of data analytics in a matter of few years. Although it is difficult to predict the real magnitude of the change it is going to bring, what is certain is that data analytics has already become a reference framework for the decision makers in the business world and beyond.