Business analytics is a wide area that covers the analysis of data using operations research and statistical analysis. It also has to do with the formation of predictive models and application of optimization techniques. The results are then conveyed to the executives, the business partners, and the customers. This is an area that requires the application of quantitative methods as well as data that is evidence-based so as to model business activity and aid in the decision-making process.
Business analytics usually deals with a massive amount of data whether structured and unstructured. It uses the business data collected on a daily basis. Business analytics techniques are applied so as to get to the different insights provided by the data that are needed when making good business decisions as well as smart strategic moves.
The Benefits of the Data-driven Approach
The results of business analytics are typically used in the making of decisions that are data-driven. The insight provided by analytics allows companies to optimize and automate the different business processes. Such companies are in a position to achieve an advantage over the competition.
Business analysis can be used to accomplish many different things including:
· Perform data mining where data is explored so as to find relationships or new patterns.
· Do thorough statistical and quantitative analysis so as to understand exactly why some of the results are achieved.
· Look at previous decisions and test them.
· Use predictive analytics and modeling so as to have an idea of how future results will turn out.
· Support for the making of proactive decisions. With this approach, they can also automate the process of decision making so as to have real-time responses where support is required.
As with any other approach, there are some challenges that are associated with business analytics. There are some concerns about invasion of privacy as well as great financial exposure, especially if one is in a fast-moving market. Determining what is true insight and what is not can be a bit of a problem. You may also spend a lot of money and time dealing with opportunities or problems that aren’t well defined.
To integrate a predictive model into the decision making process, there needs to be a corporate strategy laid out clearly as well as support from the senior leadership.
There is also the involvement of IT. The technological infrastructure and the tools need to be in a position to handle the business needs as well as the data analytics process to maximize effectiveness. The technological infrastructure needs to be considered so as to have the most current, most ideal data available. This will help you differentiate between historical data and real-time data.
The Best Practices
Implementing business analytics cannot be achieved overnight by any one given company. However, a company can follow best practices and over a period of time they will achieve the kind of insight that they are looking for. Ultimately, they will be successful and very competitive. However, you will have to decide on the practices that best fit your organization.