In a broad sense, business analytics is any attempt to evaluate business data. More specifically, it is the exploration of an organisation’s data, with the intent to perform statistical analysis as a means to improving various business aspects.
And while there is a certain amount of overlap between the concepts of business analytics and business intelligence, the two are not strictly the same thing. Business intelligence focuses more on using specific, consistent metrics to evaluate past performance. The conclusions generated by business intelligence can then be used to help guide future business decisions. Business analytics, on the other hand, uses a wider range of metrics, and is much more focused on what is going to happen, instead of what has already happened.
Generally speaking, business analytics also embraces more-complex processes and algorithms, for a broader set of applications in business. And, given that approximately 46% of organisations have deployed their own cloud business analytics tool, or plan to during the coming year, it is apparent that businesses are coming to see the value in advanced analytics tools. But recognising value, and understanding capabilities, are two separate things.
To the untrained eye, most business analytics tools may appear fairly similar, and in many ways, they are. However, the subtle differences inherent in these tools can have a significant impact on their effectiveness for specific organisations. Researching potential solutions, in the form of taking advantage of free trial periods, can help businesses feel secure with their choices before committing.
After all, data is the lifeblood of the successful business, and analysing the tools that will be used to analyse that data is one way to ensure that a company remain healthy and viable for years to come.