Everyone has data, but the more elusive goal is getting value out of the data. And business analytics has become a catch all word for anything to do with data.
To understand the term business analytics, we create a spectrum as follows:
Answer to WHAT HAPPENED ?
Elementary reporting of data summarises the results and is done through MS Excel across the globe. Some organisations may look upto tools like SQL, MS Access or oracle too.
Answer to WHY DID IT HAPPEN ?
Detective analysis starts with looking for reasons for unexpected changes. You perform a backward analysis of the reported data to look at past trends or distribution changes. Typically, industry uses tools like Excel and Pivot tables, Minitab or basic regression using R.
Answer to WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW ?
Dashboard is an organized and well-presented summary of the key business metrics. The whole science of creating data models, dashboards and reports based on data is known as BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE. Business objects, Qlikview, Hyperion are some softwares used for creating dashboards.
PREDICTIVE MODELLING :
Answer to WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN ? This is where we use all historical trends and information to predict the future. While forecasting is done at an aggregate level, predictive modelling is typically done at a customer/ instance level. Tools used for predictive analysis include R, SAS, SPSS, Python and Matlab.
BIG DATA :
Answer to WHAT CAN HAPPEN, GIVEN THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE COMMUNITY ?
Big data problems arise when data has grown on all the three Vs ( volume, velocity and variety). We need data scientists to mine this data. Since this domain is very dynamic, it is difficult to pin down specific tools. However, these tools typically use Hadoop for data storage purposes.