Demystifying Business Analytics

Demystifying Business Analytics
Demystifying Business Analytics

We may not be able to predict the future but the ability to review our past and present, and use that information to help shape our future can be attained without the use of sorcery.

That is the message within a new illustrated guide to ‘Demystifying Business Analytics’ published by Crown Workforce Management and authored by Dr Pietro Micheli, Professor of Business Performance and Innovation at Warwick Business School.

Dr Micheli unravels the complexity which shrouds this area of management and clearly outlines how best it can be used to achieve practical benefits.

“We increasingly live in a world where a vast amount of data is gathered, analysed and communicated through various mechanisms, from apps to wearable devices to enterprise resource planning systems,” he says.

“The need to bring together, understand and utilise such data has led to the rise of business analytics – the mathematical and statistical analyses of business data able to support operational and strategic decisions.”

He identifies four main types of analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive which can help us examine what has happened within an organisation, why it happened, what is likely to happen in the future and what we need to do to make something different happen.

The guide, which is free to download from also outlines whey we should invest in business analytics and the main pitfalls to avoid.

“Various mistakes can be made such as collecting a mass of data with no clear focus. We must first understand what matters to us and which objectives are most critical” comments Dr Micheli.

He also warns that business leaders should not become spellbound by the magic of analytics.

“What is important is what we do with analytics, not just the power and capability of the tools.”

The guide also highlights how we can create value from a thorough approach to analytics and outlines three steps for putting this in place – starting with belief and endorsement by senior management.

“If these steps are undertaken, the availability of increasingly powerful software and vast amounts of data has now made business analytics a priority not just for either tech giants or for very large companies, but for any organisation,” he concludes.

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