In yesterday’s post, we discussed a short definition of Analytics (“the ability to collect, analyze, and act on data.”).
Of course, this is a broad definition. To determine your appropriate analytics strategy, it is important to understand the different categories that make up the field of analytics.
A team from IBM published one of the better definitions of the three categories of analytics in the Analytics Magazine. The article is worth a read. Other organizations and universities, are also converging on the same three categories. These three categories, from INFORMS, are:
- Prepares and analyzes historical data
- Identifies patterns from samples for reporting of trends
- Predicts future probabilities and trends
- Finds relationships in data that may not be readily apparent with descriptive analysis
- Evaluates and determines new ways to operate
- Targets business objectives
- Balances all constraints
As a side note, the article in Analytics Magazine also is careful to point out that the above three categories apply to structured data. There is a branch of analytics that applies to unstructured data like analyzing consumer sentiment using Facebook and Twitter or analyzing written text for medical diagnosis like IBM’s Watson (from Jeopardy fame).