Definition: What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics is the process of collating, sorting, processing, and studying business data, and using statistical models and iterative methodologies to transform data into business insights. The goal of business analytics is to determine which datasets are useful and how they can be leveraged to solve problems and increase efficiency, productivity, and revenue.

A subset of business intelligence (BI), business analytics is generally implemented with the goal of identifying actionable data. Business intelligence is typically descriptive, focusing on the strategies and tools utilized to acquire, identify, and categorize raw data and report on past or current events. Business analytics is more prescriptive, devoted to the methodology by which the data can be analyzed, patterns recognized, and models developed to clarify past events, create predictions for future events, and recommend actions to maximize ideal outcomes.

Sophisticated data, quantitative analysis, and mathematical models are all employed by business analysts to engineer solutions for data-driven issues. They can utilize statistics, information systems, computer science, and operations research to expand their understanding of complex data sets, and artificial intelligence, deep learning, and neural networks to micro-segment available data and identify patterns. This information can then be leveraged to accurately predict future events related to consumer action or market trends and to recommend steps that can drive consumers toward a desired goal.