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What is Analytics? Learn about data analytics

Last Updated on October 20, 2021 by Shivanandana Hegde

Analytics can be described as an art, a process or a methodology. It all starts from data collection. The basic answer of ‘what is analytics’ involves around discovering and identifying meaningful patterns in the gathered information aka data. This analysis or insight is further communicated with an intent of getting better business insights. Thus, analytics empowers decision makers with facts, past trends and current state of their business.

What is analytics explained

Any type of analytics heavily relies on the ‘data gathering‘. In fact, it is not wrong to say that analytics and insight generation “entirely” depends on gathered data.

However, data, like any other entity will have noise and impurities in the form unnecessary or wrongly gathered information. Sometimes missing links in data, non-uniform or irregularly structured data can lead to wrong findings.

Hence, it is critical to make sure that the first step is taken right!

Analytics also relies on computer programming, reporting and operations research to quantify and gain meaningful insight from the collected data.

Watch my short, crisp short video to get an introduction to Data analysis:

Different Phases of Data Analysis

Below is the self-explanatory diagram different phases.

  • Data Gathering (and collation)
  • Data Processing
  • Reporting – Pattern formation
  • Behavioral analysis (or scoring)
  • Insight generation.
  • Improvise what is necessary
Phases describing what is analytics

Types or stages

  1. Descriptive: It describes ‘what happened’?
  2. Diagnostic: It helps to do a sort of postmortem analysis i.e., answers ‘Why’?
  3. Predictive: It estimates what is most likely to happen?
  4. Prescriptive: It provides suggestions, and solutions to solve existing problems.

Data Integration in analytics

Integrating data from various sources gives the ability to get a holistic view of your marketing/operations. It also makes sure that all the channels/mediums are in ‘sync’ for future communications.

A self-explanatory diagram of process of data integration is shown below:

Data integration process

All these mediums or channel are a part of Digital marketing activities. Refer this link to get basic idea of what is digital marketing. You can then discover how analytics makes sense!

The areas of application

The answer to ‘what is analytics’ is actually very subjective to it’s application. These days, institutions and organizations are trying to get data analysis married to their existing process irrespective of their business streams. However, below are most widely used applications as of today.

  • Web-analytics aka User behavior analytics
  • Business-analytics
  • Fraud analysis
  • Risk analysis
  • Financial analysis
  • Advertisement and marketing effort analysis
  • Enterprise decision management
  • Market optimization

The more a business is equipped with data, the lesser it has to depend on guesses and intuitions.

From data-analytics, one can easily find answers to questions like:

  • What exactly happened?
  • How exactly did it happen?
  • What’s happening right now?
  • What is most likely to happen next?
  • What do customers like or dislike?
  • etc. etc.

What is the future of Analytics?

  • It is still in  ‘infancy’ – Compared to how much it can grow 🙂
  • Yes. Even after coining the terms like machine learning and AI. I personally feel we’ve only scratched the surface of what analytics can do.
It is infancy
  • We have only achieved about 20% of full data’s analytical potential.

    It is just 20%
    • Data analysis is either present or entering in to every field in the world.
      • IT Services, Production, HR, Healthcare, Hotel, Transportation, Education, Airlines etc.
    Data insight in other fields
      Self – Learning Artificial intelligence, Deeper machine learning, More accurate outcome prediction
    Artificial intelligence

    close

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    By Shivanandana Hegde

    Shivanandana Hegde is a data practitioner. He works with digital analytics and marketing gurus to optimize online sales and user experience; thus, empowering his clients across India and North America.

    He has a keen interest in electronic devices, communication networks, and computing machines to access and manage information. He has published a number of blog posts and publications over the last decade.

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