Essentially, the discipline of business analytics is the essential process of gathering together vital information and numerical company data. Then, by sorting and processing each information set, the findings are translated into invaluable insights into the business.
It may well be the case that you are a manager or department head of a company who is already using the practice of business analytics to better predict market patterns and trends and thus prepare your company for growth, expansion and higher levels of profitability.
Conversely, you may be the head of a business, and for some time now, you have noticed that certain elements and approaches need to change and be updated if you are to keep in line and ahead of your competitors.
Either way, here, for your information and reading pleasure, here are the top six most important things any business manager or department head has to know about business analytics.
The 4 Different Types of Business Analytics
Basically, there are four different types of business analytics. Each one is directly associated with and used to achieve both future and current, real-time insights into a company and its financially profitable journey.
The four different types are:
- Diagnostic analytics
- Prescriptive analytics
- Descriptive analytics
- Predictive analytics
1. Diagnostic Analytics
Diagnostic analytics is perhaps the most widely used, even by businesses that are not exactly at the cutting edge of technology. Diagnostic analytics typically focus on the past performance of different areas within the company model and look at predicting and even influencing future trends in the industry.
There are a variety of different techniques used in the process of applying diagnostic analytics, including data mining, drill-down, correlations and data discovery, to name just a few.
2. Prescriptive Analytics
Prescriptive business analytics provides exceedingly accurate and well-researched recommendations for the next action a company should take to ensure a profitable and productive outcome.
The recommendation of specific measures to produce the most desired of the proposed results is essentially what these analytics come down to, and businesses can take great advantage by taking control of outcomes.
Prescriptive analytics is perhaps the most effective method, but only when conducted correctly and thoroughly. The only way that prescriptive analytics can properly work to boost your business in the right ways is if there is a strong and reliable feedback system in place, as well as a consistent and detailed analysis of past occurrences and predicted future outcomes as a result.
3. Descriptive Analytics
The field of descriptive analytics summarises and accurately describes the results of the findings from analysing existing data and information with a view to creating an accurate picture of past trends and issues and projected future ones.
The use of descriptive analytics is also exceptionally fundamental to making such information and data entirely more accessible to everyone in the company – from marketing executives, investors, and sales managers to individual members of the organisation and shareholders.
Additionally, descriptive analytics can also help identify individual weaknesses and strengths in customer service and levels of customer satisfaction and provide exceedingly valuable and unprecedented insight into consumer behaviour.
4. Predictive Analytics
Finally, the fourth type of business analytics is predictive analytics, which involves forecasting future occurrences within a company using machine learning techniques and statistical models.
Predictive analytics builds on the information learned and the data gathered from descriptive analytics to create models that can calculate – in some cases quite accurately – the likelihood of each proposed outcome.
Predictive analytics can also be effectively used to take textual data from various social media platforms to form an overall attitude and feeling from users about the quality of the services or products you provide.
Careers Within the Field of Business Analytics
There is a myriad of different career pathways one could pursue with a genuine, vested interest and even passion for all things related to business analytics, and even though it certainly is in no way mandatory, further and higher education in the discipline is certainly advisable.
One of the most beneficial academic pursuits regarding business analytics would be to enroll in a reputable and renowned msc business analytics graduate program, which can greatly enhance both your practical experience in the field as well as your academic knowledge.
Pathways and roles that heavily focus on the utilisation of business analytics include, amongst others, the following:
- Business intelligence analysis
- Big data analytics
- Operations research analysis
- Market research analysis
- Marketing and programming management
- Data science and analysis
Future Trends Regarding Business Analytics
As with any area within the world of business – as well as all professional and personal aspects of modern life – there are always trends and fashions within each industry, and the field of business analytics is certainly no different.
Present trends in business analytics that are predicted to continue well into 2023 and beyond include the following:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is constantly developing and becoming smarter and more capable of being able to learn from its own mistakes. AIs are being used more and more frequently in many areas of the business sector, including retail, engineering, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services, banking and many more.
Neural Business Networks
Data analysts and scientists are able to work together to create computing hubs, like the brain of the company’s development, which can collate, process, and sort data and identify patterns and trends at the click of a button.
Now big data is becoming even bigger, and so is the technology that enables the sorting and separating of the data into much smaller and entirely more manageable segments. This, in turn, drives forward various initiatives geared towards digital transformation.
Finally, the fourth-biggest trend that is already making a substantial impact in the domain of business analytics is deep learning. In basic terms, deep learning is one more step up from machine-based learning and uses the huge power of computers and computing technologies to collate, sort, manage and monitor massive sets of information and data.