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What is Business Analytics?

Jill Gonzalez
Jill Gonzalez

Business analytics is a term that refers to the applications, practices, skills, and technologies that are necessary for a complete investigation of a company's past business performance. This discipline helps business owners and executives to obtain valuable insight about how their particular businesses are performing, on average. It also helps them to determine how to plan successfully for improvement.

The process of business analytics focuses specifically on understanding a company's overall business performance. Through these intricate activities, new ideas can develop that may help to better prepare a business for future, or continued, success against its competitors. People who work in the field of business analytics rely heavily on a wide variety of data to help them with their daily tasks. Analysts who work in these types of jobs make regular use of quantitative and statistical analyses, and they are also usually quite involved in predictive modeling, which is essentially the process of predicting the likelihood of a particular outcome.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Practices of business analytics may be used to address issues of human activities and decisions, or may be more focused on automated functions. People who work in this field are generally quite good at coming up with answers to a wide range of questions that executives and company owners are likely to ask, in an effort to determine the best course of action on a company-wide scale. Analytics solutions usually involve the study of data in large quantities, so most people in this profession are comfortable working with numbers on a grand scale.

In order for analytics practices to be the most successful and beneficial for companies, there must generally be massive quantities of data available for analysis. When only small amounts of data are available, analytics tends to be less worthwhile for businesses. Essentially, this means that in some cases, business analysts are quite likely to be dealing with data that spans at least a few years. These positions, as a result, are most suited to individuals who work well under pressure and who thrive on deadlines.

For the most part, people involved in business analytics are also responsible for anticipating the changing needs of customers, which requires an insightful mind and shrewd deductive skills. Professionals within this field are usually capable of solving difficult problems fairly quickly. They are also usually able to suggest unique, innovative ideas to company executives for consistent, regular, positive change regarding business practices.

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