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Analitica aziendale

Business analytics is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on the process of transforming data into valuable insights to support better business decisions. In today's data-driven world, organizations collect vast amounts of data from various sources, and Business Analytics is the key to unlocking the potential hidden within this data.

What is business analytics?

Business Analytics is the process of using data analysis and statistical, quantitative, and operational analysis techniques to transform data into valuable insights and inform better business decision-making. It involves collecting, cleaning, organizing, and analyzing data from various sources to extract meaningful information and trends that can help organizations improve their operations, optimize processes, and achieve their strategic objectives.

Key aspects of business analytics include:

  1. Data management
  2. Analisi dei dati
  3. Data visualization
  4. Modellazione predittiva
  5. Segnalare
  6. Decision support
  1. Data management: This involves collecting and preparing data from various sources, ensuring its quality and integrity, and organizing it in a way that is suitable for analysis.
  2. Data analysis: Business Analytics professionals use statistical methods, mathematical models, and data mining techniques to analyze data and uncover patterns, correlations, and insights.
  3. Data visualization: To make data more understandable and actionable, Business Analytics often involves creating visualizations such as charts, graphs, and dashboards.
  4. Predictive modeling: Predictive analytics is used to forecast future trends and outcomes based on historical data. This can be particularly useful for forecasting sales, customer behavior, or market trends.
  5. Reporting: Business Analytics professionals create reports that communicate the results of their analyses to stakeholders, including business leaders, executives, and decision-makers.
  6. Decision support: The ultimate goal of Business Analytics is to provide decision-makers with the information they need to make informed and data-driven decisions that can lead to better business outcomes.
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What is the definition of business analytics?

Business analytics refers to the skills, technologies, practices, continuous iterative exploration, and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning.

It focuses on the use of data and statistical methods to analyze historical data, identify trends, generate insights, and make informed business decisions. The goal of business analytics is to improve business processes, enhance efficiency, and achieve better outcomes by leveraging data-driven insights.

This field encompasses various techniques and tools, including data mining, statistical analysis, predictive modeling, data visualization, and more, to help organizations extract actionable information from data and drive strategic decision-making.

What are types of business analytics?

The main types of business analytics include:

  1. Descriptive analytics
  2. Diagnostic analytics
  3. Analisi predittiva
  4. Prescriptive analytics
  1. Descriptive analytics: Descriptive analytics involves examining historical data to understand past business performance and events. It provides insights into what happened in the past, often through summary statistics, data visualization, and reporting. Descriptive analytics helps organizations gain a baseline understanding of their operations.
  2. Diagnostic analytics: Diagnostic analytics goes a step further by investigating why certain events or trends occurred in the past. It involves root cause analysis to identify the factors that contributed to specific outcomes or issues. Diagnostic analytics helps organizations understand the reasons behind their performance and anomalies.
  3. Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics uses historical data and statistical models to forecast future events or trends. It involves building predictive models that can make educated guesses about what might happen based on past data. This type of analytics is valuable for anticipating customer behavior, demand forecasting, and risk assessment.
  4. Prescriptive analytics: Prescriptive analytics takes predictive analytics a step further by recommending specific actions or strategies to optimize outcomes. It not only predicts future scenarios but also suggests the best course of action to achieve desired results. Prescriptive analytics is often used for decision optimization, resource allocation, and process improvement.

What is the difference between business intelligence vs. data analytics vs. data science?

The difference between business intelligence, data analytics and data science:

1. Primary focus

  • Business intelligence primarily focuses on the reporting and visualization of historical data to support business decision-making. It answers questions like "What happened?" and "How did we perform in the past?"
  • Data analytics is a broader field that encompasses various techniques for examining data to discover insights, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. It answers questions like "Why did it happen?" and "What can we do about it?"
  • Data science is a highly specialized field that combines expertise in programming, statistics, and domain knowledge to extract insights, build predictive models, and create data-driven solutions. It answers questions like "What will happen next?" and "How can we make it happen?"

2. Structure

  • Business intelligence deals with structured data from databases, data warehouses, and spreadsheets. It typically doesn't handle unstructured or semi-structured data.
  • Data analytics can handle structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. It is more versatile in dealing with different data types.
  • Data science deals with diverse and often unstructured data sources, including big data. It requires significant data preprocessing and cleaning.

3. Tools

  • Business intelligence tools are designed for creating reports, dashboards, and scorecards. Common BI tools include Tableau, Power BI, and QlikView.
  • Data analytics tools include statistical software, programming languages like Python and R, and tools like Excel. It may also use some BI tools for visualization.
  • Data science employs a wide range of tools, including programming languages like Python and R, machine learning libraries, and big data technologies like Hadoop and Spark.

What are common challenges of business analytics?

The common challenges of business analytics are:

  1. Data quality
  2. Integrazione dei dati
  3. Data security and privacy
  4. Scalabilità
  5. Skill gap
  6. Cost
  7. Complexity
  8. Change management
  1. Data quality: Poor data quality can lead to inaccurate analyses and flawed insights. Data may contain errors, inconsistencies, or missing values, which can hinder the effectiveness of analytics efforts.
  2. Data integration: Organizations often have data stored in various systems and formats. Integrating this data for analysis can be complex and time-consuming, requiring data cleansing and transformation.
  3. Data security and privacy: Handling sensitive data requires robust security measures to protect against breaches. Compliance with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA, is a critical concern.
  4. Scalability: As data volumes grow, the infrastructure and tools used for analytics must scale accordingly. This can pose challenges in terms of hardware, software, and processing power.
  5. Skill gap: Finding and retaining skilled business analysts, data analysts, and data scientists can be challenging. The demand for analytics professionals often exceeds the supply.
  6. Cost: Implementing and maintaining analytics tools and infrastructure can be costly. Licensing fees, hardware expenses, and ongoing maintenance costs are factors to consider.
  7. Complexity: Analytics projects can become complex, especially when dealing with advanced techniques like machine learning. Ensuring that analyses are understandable and actionable can be a challenge.
  8. Change management: Implementing data-driven decision-making can require a cultural shift within an organization. Employees may need training and support to adapt to data-driven practices.

What are examples of business analytics?

The examples of business analytics are:

  1. Customer segmentation: Businesses use analytics to segment their customer base into distinct groups based on demographics, behavior, or purchasing patterns. This helps tailor marketing strategies and product offerings to specific customer segments for better engagement and higher conversion rates.
  2. Churn prediction: Analytics can identify customers who are at risk of canceling subscriptions or discontinuing services. By analyzing historical data and customer behavior, businesses can take proactive steps to retain these customers.
  3. Sales forecasting: Business analytics is used to forecast future sales trends and demand for products or services. This information is essential for inventory management, production planning, and resource allocation.
  4. Market basket analysis: Retailers use analytics to analyze customer purchase patterns and discover associations between products. This helps with product placement, cross-selling, and personalized recommendations.
  5. Supply chain optimization: Analytics plays a crucial role in optimizing supply chain operations by analyzing data related to inventory levels, transportation costs, and demand fluctuations. This ensures efficient logistics and cost savings.
  6. Credit risk assessment: Financial institutions employ analytics to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Predictive models analyze credit history and other variables to determine the likelihood of default.

What are roles & responsibilities in business analytics?

The responsibilities in business analytics are:

  • Collect and analyze data to understand business processes and problems.
  • Translate business requirements into data-driven solutions.
  • Create and maintain reports, dashboards, and visualizations.
  • Identify trends, patterns, and insights in data.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to define project objectives and deliverables.
  • Make data-driven recommendations to improve business operations.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of implemented solutions.

How does business analytics work?

Steps of working of business analytics are:

  1. Raccolta dati
  2. Data preprocessing
  3. Data exploration (Descriptive analytics)
  4. Data analysis (Diagnostic analytics)
  5. Predictive modeling (Predictive analytics)
  6. Prescriptive modeling (Prescriptive analytics)
  7. Data visualization
  8. Communication and reporting

1. Data collection

  • The process begins with data collection from various sources, including databases, spreadsheets, web applications, sensors, and more.
  • Data can be structured (e.g., database tables) or unstructured (e.g., text documents, social media posts).
  • Data collection may involve data extraction, data integration, and data transformation to ensure data quality and consistency.

2. Data preprocessing

  • Data preprocessing involves cleaning and preparing the data for analysis.
  • This step includes handling missing values, removing duplicates, standardizing data formats, and addressing data outliers.
  • Data may also be transformed to ensure it aligns with the analysis objectives (e.g., converting units or scaling features).

3. Data exploration (Descriptive analytics)

  • Descriptive analytics involves exploring and summarizing the data to gain an initial understanding.
  • Analysts use techniques such as data visualization, summary statistics, and data profiling to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies in the data.

4. Data analysis (Diagnostic analytics)

  • Diagnostic analytics goes deeper to understand why certain events or patterns occurred in the data.
  • Analysts may conduct root cause analysis and hypothesis testing to identify the factors contributing to specific outcomes.

5. Predictive modeling (Predictive analytics)

  • Predictive analytics involves building mathematical models and algorithms to forecast future outcomes based on historical data.
  • Techniques like regression analysis, time series analysis, and machine learning are used to make predictions.

6. Prescriptive modeling (Prescriptive analytics)

  • Prescriptive analytics takes predictive insights further by recommending specific actions or strategies to optimize outcomes.
  • It helps answer questions like "What should we do to achieve a desired outcome?"

7. Data visualization

  • Data visualization tools and techniques are used to create visual representations of data, such as charts, graphs, and dashboards.
  • Visualizations make it easier for stakeholders to understand and interpret complex data.

8. Communication and reporting

  • Analysts and data professionals communicate their findings and insights to stakeholders through reports, presentations, and data storytelling.
  • Clear and concise communication is essential to guide decision-makers.

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