What are analytics?

OK – are you ready for a lot of nerdy talk about analytics?

Analytics is an encompassing and multi-dimensional field that uses mathematics, statistics, predictive modelling and machine-learning techniques to find meaningful patterns and knowledge in recorded data. Today, adding powerful computers to the mix for storing increases amounts of data and runs sophisticated software algorithms – producing the fast insights needed to make fact-based decisions. Yay for science!

All that to say, analytics is a way the internet gets evidence and data to give the people what they want!

By putting the science of numbers, data and analytical discovery to work, we can find out if what we think about our clients is really true. And also produce answers to questions we never thought to ask. That’s the power of analytics (it’s also why certain social media platforms are collecting your data – let’s not get into the scary side, but let’s look at how it benefits you the business owner!)

Why are analytics important?

From the first known population data collection project by the Swedish government in 1749, to Florence Nightingale recording and analysing mortality data in the 1850s, to British scholar Richard Doll’s tobacco and lung cancer study in the 1950s, the analysis of data has fuelled knowledge discovery for hundreds of years.

Each of the above scenarios required an answer to a previously unanswerable question. In the 1700s, the Swedes wanted to know the geographical distribution of their population to learn the best way to sustain an appropriate military force. Nightingale wanted to know the role that hygiene and nursing care played in mortality rates. Doll wanted to know if people who smoked were more likely to suffer from lung cancer.

Each of these pioneers knew that instinct wasn’t good enough. Analysis of data can uncover correlations and patterns. There’s less need to rely on guesses or intuition. And it can help answer the following types of questions:

• What happened?
• How or why did it happen?
• What’s happening now?
• What is likely to happen next?
• What can we do to enforce/prevent what has occurred?

With faster and more powerful technology developments, opportunity abounds for the use of analytics and big data. Whether it’s determining credit risk, developing new medicines, finding more efficient ways to deliver products and services, preventing fraud, uncovering cyber threats or retaining the most valuable customers, analytics can help you understand your organisation – and the world around it.

Contact us and we can arrange for your analytic reports, work out strategies and solutions to strengthen your business’s presence and find out where you need to be to get in front of your ideal client.