|About the Book|
Why analytics?The explosive growth in data requires new methods in understanding transactions, conditions, and activities that affect your business. Throughout most of economic history we have been ruled by laws of diminishing returns, scarcity ofMoreWhy analytics?The explosive growth in data requires new methods in understanding transactions, conditions, and activities that affect your business. Throughout most of economic history we have been ruled by laws of diminishing returns, scarcity of resources, and transaction costs. However, in the digital age, we find a new economic model where resource constraints are not applicable. Replication costs associated with digital media is minimal. The value of digital connectivity increases with the number of users who can access it. So the sharing and exchanging of digital data is not constrained in the same fashion as material goods. Therefore, as more users exchange data, the understanding of this data becomes more valuable. This is where analytics plays a crucial role in delivering understanding and insight in the digital world. Without analytics we become as deer caught in the headlights of the digital highway.Analytics can be applied to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies that help businesses lower costs, reduce risks, enhance performance and increase value. Analytics is a decision support tool and is particularly useful to aligning strategy to business objectives. More importantly businesses today require metrics to gauge their ability to create value and build innovation.By combining statistics, operations, marketing, and financial analysis with data from internal and external sources, a better understanding of trends, patterns, and interaction can be established. Analytics service engagements range from predictive and propensity modeling to sensor monitoring and anomaly detection. Analytics and big data are the next revolution in the digital world and visualization of data offers faster time to insight for relevancy and action.This book is about applying analytics to your business. It begins with establishing a framework and understanding the analytics process. The analytics framework encompasses defining business goals and objectives and measuring data, both transactional and data at rest, to assure that business activities are aligned to corporate strategy. The analytics process is quite simple. The analytics process is simply measuring and analyzing data from multiple sources to learn and understand and then repeat the process in a continuous cycle.Our approach to analytics in this book is to develop a roadmap that begins with defining the business objective. The analytics approach includes data capture, applying statistical algorithms, developing insight and understanding, and delivering the content to the appropriate manager. The business objective can be anything from building corporate culture to establishing strategy and tactics. The analytics approach could be just the testing of an advertising message or the profile of your customer to determine purchase propensity and sales conversion rates.Capturing data involves developing the extraction tools to pull data from different repositories in your business such as transactional and operational data, historical data in storage, and external sources including web, blog, Twitter and Facebook. Once the data is compiled and package for analysis, a host of tools are available to gain perspective and understanding. The most important element in the analytics process is time to insight - how quickly can understanding be gained from the data.Analytics 2 Insight has developed some useful tools to quickly gain insight using visual data discovery. Using statistical algorithms to identify anomalies, trends, and patterns enables automated message alerts based on trigger points and set to your mobile phone.For most applications, some simple charts and graphs can serve to deliver substantial insight.