What Data Analytics Is and What it Means for Your Business

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The concept of big data has been around for years. Most organizations now understand that if they capture all the data that streams into their businesses, they can apply analytics and get significant value from it.

But even in the 1950s, decades before anyone uttered the term “big data,” businesses were using basic analytics, essentially numbers in a spreadsheet that were manually examined, to uncover insights and trends. Let’s look at the important things to know about this ubiquitous term and how you can leverage it to improve your business’s success.

What Is Data Analytics?

Data analytics refers to all the processes and tools required to process a set of data and interpret important insights from them. Analytics is a broader term that includes the various tools and processes used for analyzing the data.

Data analytics helps businesses and industries make sense of the vast volumes of information for further growth and development. Investing in data analytics solution is the difference between successful and failing companies in the present and the years to come.

Whereas a few years ago a business would have gathered information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions, today that business can identify insights for immediate decisions. The ability to work faster – and stay agile – gives organizations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.

The Value of Data Analytics for Businesses

The use of analytics is no longer limited to big companies with deep pockets. It’s now widespread. According to Forbes, 59% of enterprises use analytics in some capacity. And companies are capitalizing on this technology in several ways. In a recent survey from Deloitte, 49% of respondents say that analytics helps them make better decisions, 16% say that it better enables key strategic initiatives, and 10% say it helps them improve relationships with both customers and business partners.
But in order to take full advantage, you need to know how to get the most value from your data. In his report, Big Data in Big Companies, IIA Director of Research Tom Davenport interviewed more than 50 businesses to understand how they used big data. He found they got value in the following ways:

  1. Cost reduction. Big data technologies such as Hadoop and cloud-based analytics bring significant cost advantages when it comes to storing large amounts of data – plus they can identify more efficient ways of doing business.
  2. Faster, better decision making. With the speed of Hadoop and in-memory analytics, combined with the ability to analyze new sources of data, businesses are able to analyze information immediately – and make decisions based on what they’ve learned.
  3. New products and services. With the ability to gauge customer needs and satisfaction through analytics comes the power to give customers what they want. Davenport points out that with big data analytics, more companies are creating new products to meet customers’ needs.

Three Key Technologies in Data Analytics

Below are some of the technologies that power data analytics.

Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are some of the buzzwords in the industries. Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that is crucial for data analytics and includes algorithms that can memorize on their own. It is the one that facilitates applications to collect data and analyze it by anticipating results without somebody explicitly programming the system to gain that outcome.

Data Mining

Data mining means that it is the process of simplifying large data to specify structures and find connections between data points. It provides you to filter through huge datasets and sort out what’s applicable. You would then be able to utilize this data to direct analyses and illuminate your choices. The present data mining technologies permit you to finish these errands outstandingly rapidly.

Data Management

If you want to analyze data then, the first step is to understand the flow of data in and out of your system. Then, you have to keep that data organized and you also check the quality of data and collect it in a safe place. So, organizing a data management program can assure that your company is on a similar page regarding how to govern and deal with data.

Master Big Data at Schulich ExecEd

Getting the most value out of your data can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the foundational knowledge to understand how to interpret and use that information. Enrolling in Schulich ExecEd’s Masters Certificate in Analytics for Leaders might be the course to help your team properly leverage the data coming in and out of your company. Chat with one of our advisers today to find out more.

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Murat KristalMurat Kristal is the program director for Schulich ExecEd’s Masters Certificate in Analytics for Leaders.