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The 4 Stages of Business Analytics

analyticsAnalytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are some of the latest trends in today’s business world. You may be wondering why all of a sudden analytics is such a big deal, since analyzing data, to gain valuable information, has been around for many, many years.

Here’s why – in the past, analyzing an abundance of information took very long and was only usually done AFTER the fact (a reactive-type of analytics). Today, with all the advancements made with BI technologies, companies are able to analyze all of their data quickly in order to PREDICT what’s to come (predictive-type of analytics). This difference is HUGE. Companies are able to anticipate problems, industry changes or sales opportunities, giving them a big competitive advantage in their industry.

Here are the 4 stages of Business Analytics:

  1. Descriptive: This type of analytics typically answers the question “What happened?” It entails analyzing a data set and describing its features and characteristics. This is mainly used to describe and characterize past events. Managers produce summary statements of these data sets.
  1. Diagnostic: Managers use diagnostic analytics to answer the question “Why?” or “Why did that happen?” They focus on a known outcome and try to determine the factors and events that contributed to that event. Therefore, it is when something had already happened, for example the company lost a big customer, and they are looking to find out why this happened so that it doesn’t happen again.
  1. Predictive: “What is likely to happen?” This type of analytics is about getting real insights to predict what will happen if you make a change or keep things the way they are. It’s about using data from your database as well as elsewhere (perhaps information collected from social media) and detecting trends and patterns to help predict future outcomes.
  1. Prescriptive: Prescriptive analytics is what many companies, using BI, strive for. It’s all about understanding what to do to maximize good outcomes and prevent bad ones from happening. Essentially, advanced BI technology is able to provide automated decisions, which are defined through the analytics process.

Most companies today are only using descriptive analytics. The companies using prescriptive or predictive analytics are truly gaining an advantage over their competitors.

Therefore, what does your company need to do to analyze your data the right way?

  • Invest in the right tools;
    • An ERP system is required in order to gather and store all of your sensitive data. This system will be your place to collect, store and manage all of your business activities. It is your ‘data hub’ – the core application that will help your team turn all of this raw data into valuable information. Take a look at our ErpWizard Management Suite.
    • A Business Intelligence Solution will be your analytics tool. This tool must be fully integrated within your ERP management suite in order to access your database to create visualizations, reports and dashboards to gain real insights. Take a look at how we’ve integrated Tableau Software with our ErpWizard Suite.
  • Train managers to gain BI & Analytics skills; not everyone has the eye to analyze information and gain insights. This training is highly recommended for those using the BI system.

Talk to our BI specialists today to learn more about what you can do with your company data.

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