Business Analytics Explained: a comprehensive guide

December 5, 2022
4 mins
Microsoft Italia and iGenius bring the Generative AI into the world of numbers

There's no doubt that business analytics is important to corporate success.

When polled, 71% of businesses said they planned to increase their investment in analytics through the past year.

Understanding business analytics is critical for any C-suite executive or business owner. By understanding business analytics, you can make better decisions for your company.

In this quick guide, we'll explain what business analytics is. We'll then illustrate how it works with an example. We'll also highlight the benefits of using business analytics.

Finally, we'll discuss some of the key considerations when implementing analytics into your operations.

What Is Business Analytics?

What is business analytics? Are we talking about more than basic data?

Business analytics is all about using complex data to make decisions in the business world. It involves first making sense of large sets of data. Then, it becomes about using them to do things like:

1. Forecast future trends

2. Inform strategic planning

3. Optimize performance

As our reliance on technology grows, being able to analyze and interpret this data becomes more important for businesses. It can also help identify inefficiencies and improve customer experience.

So how does one go about mastering the art of business analytics? It usually involves a combination of technical skills.

This includes skills such as programming languages and statistical analysis. It also includes softer skills like problem-solving and communication.

Ultimately, having a strong understanding of business analytics can provide a major competitive advantage. This is ever-important for the Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers, and Chief Operating Officers of today’s world.

Examples of Business Analytics

What does business analytics look like in a real-world situation? When it comes to business analytics, the sky's the limit. You can use it to do things like:

1. Track sales and customers

2. Analyze market trends

3. Track financial performance

4. Improve marketing campaigns

For example, a retail clothing company might use analytics to determine which styles and sizes are selling well in different regions. A technology company, on the other hand, might use analytics to assess the ROI of various online advertising campaigns.

Another common use of business analytics is in financial forecasting. In this use case, past financial data can help determine budget allocations and potential risks.

In today's competitive market, companies are seeking ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Business analytics can provide valuable insight into how best to do so.

Ultimately, the goal of business analytics is to gather insights. The goal is to have data that can help drive profitability and increase competitiveness.

The possibilities for using those analytics in business are endless. It's up to companies to identify areas where they can benefit from data analysis. Then, it's up to them to put that data into action.

The Importance of Business Analytics

In today's digital age, businesses need to rely on more than gut instinct and experience. That's where business analytics comes in.

Business analytics helps companies make informed decisions. They provide them with a way to analyze data and identify patterns and trends. It allows them to:

1. Predict future outcomes

2. Optimize processes

3. Stay ahead of the competition

It can also help businesses identify any potential risks. They can then manage them before they become a problem.

In short, having access to business analytics is critical for a successful business in today's data-driven world.

Not utilizing it means missing out on valuable insights. Those insights could make all the difference in a competitive market. So if you want your business to succeed, make sure you invest in some good business analytics capabilities.

Not convinced how important this kind of business data is when it comes to solving business problems? Let’s walk you through some benefits.

Improve Business Decisions With Data-Driven Actions

Business analytics provides you with a way to make more informed and better decisions across various departments within your company. How? You’re using data to drive those decisions and take action.

After all, when it comes to decision-making in the business world, data can be your best friend. And that's where business analytics comes in. It's one of the best ways to work towards improving business decisions.

By analyzing past trends and predicting future outcomes, business analytics can help companies make smarter choices and stay ahead of the competition.

But how exactly does it work? Business analytics gathers data from various sources, including sales reports and customer feedback, and it uses statistical analysis and predictive modeling to provide insights into important business decisions.

This allows companies to track performance and make adjustments in real time as opposed to waiting for quarterly or yearly evaluations.

In short, incorporating business analytics into your decision-making process can lead to improved efficiency and better overall performance for your company.

Use Data Analysis to Plan for the Future

As mentioned above, access to this type of data allows you to plan for the future. Gathering data on past sales, customer behavior, and market trends can help inform your strategies and predict potential outcomes.

You can also use this data to set reasonable goals and forecast future performance. By incorporating data analysis into your planning process, you can feel confident that you're making informed decisions for the future of your business.

And not only can business analytics and the data it provides help you plan for specific goals and events, but it also enables companies to stay on top of market changes and adapt their plans.

While there’s no magic eight ball in business, business analytics gets you pretty close. With improved AI and data analysis, you’re able to “see” into the future and create a roadmap for improved success and revenue.

Minimize Guesswork When Solving Business Problems

As a byproduct of being able to use data to make well-informed decisions and plan for the future, you’re minimizing the guesswork it takes to solve those problems.

By collecting and analyzing data from operations, marketing, sales, finance, and other departments, we can uncover patterns and trends that would have been impossible to detect by guessing.

This means we can identify trends, predict outcomes, and make evidence-based decisions that lead to better results for our business. By utilizing business analytics, we're able to minimize guesswork and increase the likelihood of success when solving business problems.

Who doesn’t want to increase their chances of success? In the business world, that little extra edge could mean the difference between getting ahead and falling behind.

Present Clear Data to Convince Stakeholders

Finally, we can’t forget about the stakeholders. When using business analytics, you can view complex data in an organized and clear way. This helps simplify complex information and makes it easier for stakeholders to understand. In the end, you're making it easier for them to make quick, informed decisions.

In addition, visual representations such as graphs and charts can make the information even more compelling. This helps stakeholders see the big picture.

When they see the big picture, they make quicker, better decisions. It helps them feel more convinced by the data behind a proposal or decision.

For example, if you’re using iGenius, you can present them with a Business Knowledge Graph. This type of graph is a collection of data relating to specific entities (such as people, products, and locations). These entities are connected through various relationships.

A graph like this can help you gain insights into things like supply chain management or customer behavior. All in all, a business knowledge graph can help optimize processes. It can also help you and stakeholders make more data-informed decisions. This is what drives growth in our data-driven world.

In this context, business analytics enhances decision-making within a company. However, it can also play an important role in presenting clear data to stakeholders to convince them of the best course of action.

Do You Need Business Analytics Tools?

So, does your company need business analytics tools? Nearly every business can benefit from having a virtual advisor for data intelligence.

However, business analytics tools can be a game-changer for your company. This is especially true if you are a:

1. Chief Technology Officer

2. Chief Information Officer

3. Chief Data Officer

4. Chief Operation Officer

5. CEO

6. Sales Director

These tools allow you to gather and analyze data in real time. This gives you insights into not only what's happening now, but also how to plan for the future. You can track everything from sales and customer behavior to website traffic and employee productivity.

With this information at your fingertips, you can make more informed business decisions. This leads to increased efficiency. It also provides you with the ability to anticipate potential problems before they arise.

So no matter the size or industry of your business, business analytics tools are a valuable asset for any executive.

It’s clear we’re passionate about business analytics and the value it creates for companies. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. You can discover, automate, and predict various pieces of business data all with the help of iGenius and your virtual advisor, Crystal.

From automated forecasting to anomaly detection, our dashboard allows you to peer into the deepest depths of your business data.

Ready to give it a try? Book a demo today.

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