Business Analytics is “the study of data through statistical and operations analysis, the formation of predictive models, application of optimization techniques, and the communication of these results to customers, business partners, and college executives.” Business Analytics requires quantitative methods and evidence-based data for business modeling and decision making; as such, Business Analytics requires the use of Big Data.
SAS describes Big Data as “a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis.” What’s important to keep in mind about Big Data is that the amount of data is not as important to an organization as the analytics that accompany it. When companies analyze Big Data, they are using Business Analytics to get the insights required for making better business decisions and strategic moves.
Companies use Business Analytics (BA) to make data-driven decisions. The insight gained by BA enables these companies to automate and optimize their business processes. In fact, data-driven companies that utilize Business Analytics achieve a competitive advantage because they are able to use the insights to:
- Conduct data mining (explore data to find new patterns and relationships)
- Complete statistical analysis and quantitative analysis to explain why certain results occur
- Test previous decisions using A/B testing and multivariate testing
- Make use of predictive modeling and predictive analytics to forecast future results
Business Analytics also provides support for companies in the process of making proactive tactical decisions, and BA makes it possible for those companies to automate decision making in order to support real-time responses.
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What does Business Analytics (BA) mean?
Business analytics (BA) refers to all the methods and techniques that are used by an organization to measure performance. Business analytics are made up of statistical methods that can be applied to a specific project, process or product. Business analytics can also be used to evaluate an entire company. Business analytics are performed in order to identify weaknesses in existing processes and highlight meaningful data that will help an organization prepare for future growth and challenges.
The need for good business analytics has spurred the creation of business analytics software and enterprise platforms that mine an organization’s data in order to automate some of these measures and pick out meaningful insights.
Although the term has become a bit of a buzzword, business analytics are a vital part of any business. Business analytics make up a large portion of decision support systems, continuous improvement programs and many of the other techniques used to keep a business competitive. Consequently, accurate business analytics like efficiency measures and capacity utilization rates are the first step to properly implementing these techniques.