Beyond the Hype: What are Advanced Analytics?

Beyond the Hype: What are Advanced Analytics?

All analytics is advanced, right? Not necessarily. Analytics is actually a catchall term that describes a number of different disciplines organized in hierarchical order. Here’s how it looks in ascending order:

  1. Descriptive Analytics – Understanding what happened.
  2. Diagnostic Analytics – Understanding why it happened.
  3. Predictive Analytics – Imagining what could happen.
  4. Prescriptive Analytics – Imagining what should happen.
  5. Cognitive Analytics – Causing something to happen.

The term “analytics” typically refers to the first two categories. This technology relies on basic formulas to offer a backward-looking evaluation of data. It saves a lot of time and labor, but the insights are rather shallow.

The term “advanced analytics” refers to the final three. These types of analysis are forward-looking. And, until relatively recently, they were largely theoretical. Developers could predict the potential of analyzing data in-depth on a large scale, yet they lacked the technology to make it practical. Now that technology exists, and advanced analytics is a reality.

A recent survey from NewVantage Partners polled executives on how their companies use data and want to use it. The number one goal for these executives was using advanced analytics to improve decision making. Impressively, 69 percent of those respondents had already achieved success towards that goal. That is exciting news when you consider what advanced analytics actually has to offer.

Getting More from Your Most Valuable Asset

It’s been true for a long time that data is the single most-valuable asset companies own. It has immense strategic potential, and it’s largely proprietary. This data, more than anything else, is what gives a company a competitive advantage. Advanced analytics lets you get more from the data you already have. You can turn existing information into a clear and accurate forecast for the future. That way, every decision you make is informed and confident. Advanced analytics almost makes it possible to collect and leverage new types of data, further refining your foresight.

Supercharging Your Business Strategy

Managing a business is largely about overcoming unknowns. Companies expend massive resources trying to guess what will happen, plan in advance, and overcome their missteps. Advanced analytics offers relief from this stumbling cycle because it provides clarity about the future.

Predictive and prescriptive analytics allow companies to avoid obstacles early and seize on opportunities sooner. And with cognitive analytics, companies can actually control their own fate. These are the kinds of capabilities that every business in history has wished for. Advanced analytics makes them possible.

Extending Insights to All

The term “advanced analytics” obscures one of its most impressive features – It’s actually easier too. Advanced analytics is designed to be more powerful and prognosticating than what came before.

But it’s also designed to be more intuitive, accessible, and user-friendly. Getting insights is as easy as entering a question into a search bar. Some solutions even let you use voice commands.

Then, when the insights are delivered, they are formatted into advanced visualizations that bring the takeaways to life. These tools are easy enough for anyone to use regardless of their technical training. And since they can be embedded into just about everything, analytics can enhance any workflow. It may sound counter-intuitive, but choosing advanced analytics actually makes the implementation and onboarding process simpler.

The word “advanced” gets thrown around a lot, so how do you know if a solution truly offers “advanced analytics?” Start by looking for some of the features mentioned above like voice recognition.

Then look at how the system incorporates artificial intelligence, which is required for complex, large-scale analysis. Finally, test out how user-friendly it is. If it seems like a tool that could give you clarity and certainty, it probably deserves to be called advanced. Don’t wait too long to make your company advanced as well.

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