Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight. Firms may commonly apply analytics to business data, to describe, predict, and improve business performance.
In our organization we have been having the challenges of network outages on and off due to various reasons. Some of the reasons were due to maintenance and other reasons were fiber cuts, etc. Had the network provider collected the contextual data, they would have been in a position to be able to identify the trends for outages, the top reasons for the outages which is part of Business Intelligence. Based on this analysis, we can start predicting the issues.
Four Major Types of Analytics
There are four major types of analytics that companies can use to learn from and better engage with their customers.
Business Intelligence: If you want to go deeper into the data you have collected from users in order to understand “Why some things happened,” you can use business intelligence tools to get some insights. However, it is very laborious work that has limited ability to give you actionable insights. It basically provides a very good understanding of a limited piece of the problem you want to solve. Usually less than 10% of companies surveyed do this on occasion and less than 5% do so consistently.
This is what you get from your web server through tools like Google Analytics, Omniture or the like. You can quickly understand “what happened” during a given period in the past and verify if a campaign was successful or not based on simple parameters like page views. About 35% of companies surveyed say they do this consistently.
Predictive Analytics: If you can collect contextual data and correlate it with other user behavior datasets, as well as expand user data beyond what you can get from your web servers, you enter a whole new area where you can get real insights. Essentially, you can predict what will happen if you keep things as they are. However, less than 1% of companies surveyed have tried this yet. The ones who have done it have found incredible results that have already made a big difference in their business.
Once you get to the point where you can consistently analyze your data to predict what’s going to happen, you are very close to being able to understand what you should do in order to maximize good outcomes and also prevent potentially bad outcomes. This is on the edge of innovation today but it’s attainable!
More than 90% of companies today use very basic analytics – what we call “Descriptive Analytics.” However, it is from Predictive and Optimization Analytics that one can really get the insights you need to drive your business forward.