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Data Analytics Explained

posted 13 May 2018, 20:37 by Brendan Tuppack   [ updated 13 May 2018, 21:04 ]

Data Analytics can help you better understand the various parts of your business so you can make more informed and thus better decisions. In this context, understanding the various parts of your business could include changing the business strategy, or improving the business model or processes. It could also mean understanding and managing the risk associated with the business, and in doing so, future proofing the business thereby ensuring its sustainability.

Descriptive Analytics

Descriptive Analytics uses data aggregation and data mining to provide insight into the past and answer the question: 'What has happened?' Descriptive analytics includes the collection, cleansing, organisation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data in order to summarise and present historical information, find answers to difficult questions, and facilitate knowledge discovery. According to Information Week, more than 80% of data analytics is descriptive.

Examples include:

  • Data Mining – Taking one or more large data sources and applying a range of statistical techniques to determine patterns and relationships that have a direct impact on sales, marketing, business, or financial performance.
  • Text Mining – Extracting unstructured text and classifying and converting it into statistical data so it can be used to find patterns and trends that can be used to drive sales, marketing, business, or financial performance.
  • Social Media Mining – Monitoring and obtaining data from social media channels and converting it into statistical data to determine the customer sentiment towards your brand, so you can manage your reputation effectively.
  • Infographics – Developing a simple and visually powerful representation of information, data, or knowledge that is quickly digestible and easy to share. We partner with graphic designers to complete the design work.
  • Interactive Dashboards – Using business intelligence software to develop a simple, powerful, and historical visual summary of an organisation’s key performance indicators or other data in an easily accessible location.
  • Geographic Mapping – Plots static or dynamic geographical location data and other business related metrics and information onto national or international maps to visualise relationships and trends in your customer data.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analytics is the next step up in data reduction. Predictive analytics uses statistical models and forecasting techniques to understand the future and answer: 'What could happen?' It utilises a variety of statistical, modelling, data mining, and machine learning techniques to study recent and historical data, thereby allowing analysts to make predictions about the future. Predictive Analytics tries to predict the probability of an outcome given a set amount of input data. Eric Siegel, author of Predictive Analytics, says "Predictive Analytics combats risk, boosts sales, cuts costs, fortifies healthcare, streamlines manufacturing, conquers spam, toughens crime fighting, optimises social networks, and wins elections."

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive Analytics uses optimisation and simulation algorithms to recommend possible outcomes and answer: 'What should we do?’ Prescriptive Analytics supports decision makers by solving their toughest strategy, planning and scheduling challenges. It seeks to prescribe one or more courses of actions and the likely outcome of each action.

Below you'll find a list of our preferred data analytics software.

IBM Cognos, SPSS, and Watson Analytics Software

IBM Business Analytics software can help you achieve your objectives and drive better business outcomes. This software can be used independently, in combination with each other, and as part of broader solutions to key business challenges.

IBM Cognos provides integrated dashboards, scorecards, reporting, analysis, mobile business intelligence, planning and budgeting, and performance management capabilities enable you to act on fact-based insights.

IBM SPSS provides statistical analysis, data and text mining, predictive modelling, decision optimization and collaboration and deployment software help you anticipate change and take action to improve outcomes.

IBM Watson Analytics offers cognitive, predictive, and visual analytics in an easy-to-use service you can use on your own to find answers in your data. Even extend your data for a complete view of your business. Wherever you are in your business, with Watson Analytics, you can get better data, understand your business, tell a story and think ahead.

To visit the IBM Business Analytics website, please click HERE

Microsoft BI and Analytics and Microsoft Power BI

To fully benefit from the power of data, organisations need to make it easy for all users to get access to the right data, at the right time, so they can make more informed decisions, while also giving IT the tools to manage data access, quality and compliance. User expectations, however, are changing, and they are demanding self-service access to more types of data than ever before. A BI solution isn’t complete if it can’t pull in external data from a marketplace, or unstructured data from Hadoop, and easily combine it with existing enterprise data that may live on premises or in the cloud. Customers can build modern BI solutions on-premises using SQL Server, SharePoint and Excel or simply subscribe to Power BI for Office 365 and let Microsoft manage the infrastructure for them, so they can focus on unlocking new insights.

To visit the Microsoft BI and Analytics website, please click HERE

To visit the Microsoft Power BI website, please click HERE

Tableau Desktop, Online, and Server Software

Tableau allows you to quickly analyse, visualise and share data. What data? Any data of any size, format, and subject. Tableau simplifies the way data is explored and communicated. It’s a new kind of business intelligence software. All the things you wished you could do — work with huge data live or in-memory, mash up data sources, visualize data in multiple ways, build dashboards, create interactive data applications — are not only possible in Tableau but are also quick work. Anyone can use Tableau to connect to data with just a few clicks and create interactive, analytical dashboards. Sharing dashboards is just as easy: simply publish them to either Tableau Server (On-premise), or Tableau Online (On-cloud). With the native iOS and Android mobile applications, users have the ability to view data at any time and to create new perspectives whilst on the go. Tableau gives them the information they need so IT can focus on more important tasks.

To visit the Tableau website, please click HERE

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