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Business Analytics (BA): Everything You Need to Know

Business Analytics (BA): Everything You Need to Know

What is Business Analytics?

A simple definition of business analytics would be to convert business data into accurate business insights. A more in-depth definition would be the collection of business data from various sources, processing them and using various methodologies to extract the desired insightful data from these datasets. Today, business analytics is conducted with the help of high-tech software and tools that provide insightful data at the touch of a button.

Business analytics has made strong headway into business. Though midsize and small businesses are slowly waking up to the advantages of business analytics, large companies are already employing the services of business analytics experts and are buying or are investing in the development of business analytics software based on which they can make decisions.

In the following blog, theres all the relevant information you need about business analytics. From its importance, tools, and components to the best examples of business analytics being a part of our everyday lives, theres all the information you need to understand the importance of business analytics and the future scope.

Suggested Reading: How Business Analytics Has Evolved Over the Years

How Business Analytics Works

Business analytics starts with the collection of data. However, not any data is collected. First, parameters for the collection of data are set so the data can be collected and collated accordingly. These parameters ensure that specific data is collected that will give an insight into a particular need of the business. These datasets are then processed with the help of analytics software and tools. Reports are prepared on insightful data to make even more sense.

Modern analytics tools and software are so advanced that they can execute every step from data collection to preparation of reports. These reports are then used to look at forecasts for the future, create business strategies based on sound data and management of risks and capital losses. Statistics is one of the most accurate sciences in the world, and business analytics is a modern, technological form of statistics.


Components of Business Analytics

Business analytics tools, software, and processes have many components to it. Each component is like an important gear in the machinery, and the successful running of analytics requires each component to work perfectly. Here are the various components of business analytics.

1. Data Aggregation

Data is collected to one single, central location from where sorting can begin. Inaccurate and incomplete data is removed and only usable data is left behind. Even duplicate data is checked for and removed completely. This data is collected from various sources.

One form is volunteered data. This data is taken from digital and physical forms that have been filled out by the consumers. This form is taken directly or is taken from a third party. The other form of data source is tractional data. This data is shared by organisations and is collected from banking transactions, sales records, and shipping records.

2. Data Mining

To further go deep into the data, Data Mining is the next step to look for unknown patterns and trends. For this, one has to mine through a huge amount of data by creating mining models. Various statistics models are used. One of those models is classification demographics and other such parameters are used for sorting data.

In the regression model, based on the historical patterns, you can predict numerical values. And another popular method is clustering where classification factors are to be predicted so you what variables to use.

3. Association & Sequence Identification

These components are a pattern of consumer behaviour. In the association part of the behaviour, consumers buy products that are associated with each other like toothpaste and toothbrush or shampoo and conditioner. In the sequence identification, the sequence on buying is extracted like a sequence of an airline ticket, airport cab ride, and hotel room.

This form of analytics components makes it easier to understand what the consumer is going to buy next and understand their buying patterns and behaviour.

4. Text Mining

What consumer types or comments in blogs and other social media comments or their interaction with customer service call centres are a part of the text mining component. This data is crucial in improving customer service. Customer service is one of the big reasons why people show loyalty toward a brand or product.

Text mining also helps in the development of new products based on the data collected. They also help monitor competition and the developments they are making.

5. Forecasting

A famous saying goes that history repeats itself, and this saying is quite true when it comes to the forecasting components. It has been observed that consumers resort to a certain behaviour specific seasons or a period. This repetitive behaviour can be observed and planned for by forecasting.

Buying warm weather clothes a few weeks or days before the cold season, buying sporting merchandise before the sports season, or the increased search for a specific keyword based on the current events – these are all examples of forecasting.

6. Predictive Analytics

Based on the data, one can create predictive analytics that will accurately make predictions in certain events. This component of analytics helps companies understand what may happen in the near future and help them prepare for it.

Predictive analytics helps know when there is going to be a failure or wear and tear in equipment if it has been subjected to harsh conditions or has been used for a certain amount of time. It also helps classify customers in detail, and also make decisions based on future trend.

7. Optimization

Business analytics really help with the optimization component. Businesses can really make great use of analytics and optimize their operations. They can anticipate surges in demand and step production to maintain supply. They can competitively price their products when there is supposed to be a peak or shortage. Businesses can also create sales, offers, and discounts based on business analytics.

8. Data Visualisation

Data visualisation is one of the most effective ways of presenting data, and business analytics are quite helpful. This visual form of data helps companies make reports and sets new goals. The visual format is a lot more easy to explore, model and analyse.


Types of Business Analytics

There are different types of business analytics – four to be exact. They each serve a specific purpose and deliver specific data. These 4 analytics come in different stages, and they all are interconnected. In the following section, the information is provided according to the stage and the data these analytics provide.

1. Descriptive Analysis

This is the first stage of business analytics. The descriptive analysis gives a clear picture of what has happened in the past and what the current scenario is. This lets you take a critical look at your current state of the business. Data aggregation and data mining techniques are employed.

This first stage lets you know your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Based on these insights, you can develop strategies to improve your business. You have a clear view of all the statistics that you can make use of. However, this stage will allow you to make basic changes. To know more, you need to move up in the stages.

2. Diagnostic Analysis

Now that you know what the past and the current issues are in the business through descriptive analysis, it is time for you to know why. The diagnostic analysis gives you an even more critical look into the past and present of your business and lets you understand why the issues have occurred and all the reasons behind it.

By providing likelihoods and probabilities, diagnostic analysis tells why such a thing has happened and based on the finding, you can strategise to improve your business. The techniques used in diagnostic analysis data mining, data discovery, drill-down and correlations.

3. Predictive Analysis

Now that the past issues are clear, the 3rd stage in business analytics is predictive analysis that will help you take a look at what is going to happen. This is such an important phase that you need data scientists and machine learning experts to correctly execute the predictive analysis.

Statistical models and machine learning models are built upon the previous 2 stages of analysis. Even text data fed into the model can let one predict user sentiment. Knowing the sentiment of the customer can help launch new products. Predictive analysis gives you detailed reports that will allow you to make complex predictions for the business.

4. Prescriptive Analysis

Prescriptive analysis is the final stage. It goes further than predictive analysis. Through this, you can make models that will help you make accurate predictions and make real-time changes that will give you the best possible results. This model also provides recommended actions based on the results you want from your business.

Recommendation engines are the most popular product of prescriptive analysis. These engines work in real-time and provide excellent results. All because these analyses are all based on sound data, complex neural networks, and deep learning. Prescriptive analysis gives you the best recommendations on the results you need from your business.


Business Analytics Tools

Business analytics tools are growing at such a brisk pace. Today, there are quite a few tools that are being used around the world by some of the biggest companies in the world. So, which are the business analytics tools that are being used?

1. Tableau

Visual representation of data is one of the best ways to understand and get insight into a dataset. This is the strength of Tableau. This business analytics tool is best known for presenting the fed data in attractive dashboards, charts and other forms of visuals mediums. This tool is extremely easy to deploy which is a huge advantage and also has great customer support.

2. Heap Analytics

In a connected world, Heap Analytics is one of the best analytics as it helps you track and understand user behaviour that takes place in mobile and web applications. Heap also provides many other software services. It is quite easy to use, and easy to track/ Users can develop their own types of visual reports and documentation.

3. Alteryx

One of the most scalable data analytics software is Alteryx. It supports many forms of data and you as the user can perform many different analytics. Once you feed in the data, the analytic sorts and cleans the data, you can extract the results in any visual form of interpretation that can be derived from other supporting applications.

4. MixPanel

If you want an analytics tool that helps you with retention of customers, predictive analytics and even can do A/B Testing, MixPanel is the tool for you. This is available as a web application and a mobile application. An additional feature of this tool allows us to optimise messaging and lets you analyse the target audience of the messages. MixPanel also has great customer support.

5. Google Analytics

One of the best analytical tools out there is Google Analytics. If you are used to the Google ecosystem, which most people are, you can become an expert in using this tool. There are Google Analytics certification programs as well. Google Analytics is available on the web and the phone as well. Google Analytics also integrates well into other ecosystems. It is the worlds most used analytics tool owing to its ease, accessibility, and costs.


Benefits/Importance of Business Analytics

The business world is waking up to the importance of business analytics. There are many benefits to using business analytics. Here are a few benefits that will help you realise that business analytics is going to be an integral part of the future of the industry.

⦁ Makes Use of Big Data –

Every transaction you do, or even a comment you put up on social media has the potential to generate big data, and this data can be leveraged by companies to serve customers better.

⦁ Analyse Mistakes –

Business analytics lets you track and understand the mistakes you have made in the past, and you can rectify or completely avoid these mistakes.

⦁ Accurate Business Decisions –

Any decision that is based on sound data and information is always a good decision

⦁ Comprehensive Look into the Future –

Business analytics process data so well that you can have a look into the future with accuracy.

⦁ Easy to Use & Implement –

Business analytics are becoming easier to use and implement. So, you won’t need experts to run business analytics.

Suggested Reading: 12 Reasons Why Business Analytics Is Important In Digital Age

Uses/Application of Business Analytics

Business analytics has many uses and applications. It is one of the biggest game-changers of the modern world, and it is high time businesses realise its importance. Students too have woken up and are showing a willingness to study it. Heres what business analytics is useful for.

⦁ Start a Business –

Based on all the accurate reports and forecasts of any industry, you can actually start a business in the most prepared manner, and have the best chance of success.

⦁ Grow your Business –

Business analytics is the best and the safest way to grow your business and take away all the risks. Decisions taken through analytics have the best chance to succeed.

⦁ Analyse Data –

Tonnes and tonnes of data is generated, but there arent many methods to analyse this data efficiently. Business analytics is the best way to process this data to get what information you need.

⦁ Create Business Strategies –

The best business analytics tools will help you make business strategies through prescriptive analysis. All you need to do is implement those strategies.

⦁ Stay Updated to Business Trends –

Trends change at a drop of a hat, but modern business analytics tools help you stay updated on the latest trends and implement them into your business.

Suggested Reading: 8 Applications of Business Analytics with Examples

Real-Time Example of Business Analytics

Business analytics are being deployed by many big companies, and these results have already begun showing.

Here are some examples of companies using business analytics to better their business and serving the customers better.

1. OTT Platforms

One excellent example of business analytics software in action is the Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Prime, HotStar, etc. These platforms suggest you the right movies and series for your viewing based on the movies and series you have watched. And their predictions are mostly correct even when it comes to dealing with something as unpredictable as human behaviour.


2. Amazon

When you purchase a product, the web page also shows you similar products and the products others have purchased along with the product you are purchasing. For example, if you buy a wallet, amazon will also display pictures of belts and shoes as many people buy these things together. Business analytics is behind the display of these products. No wonder Amazon is the biggest e-tailer in the world.


Future of Business Analytics

Saying the future of business analytics is bright would be an understatement. Business analytics is the future. From small, new companies to billion-dollar companies, everyone is going to make use of business analytics in the near future. Business analytics is becoming more accessible and easier to use and deploy.

Big data and business analytics courses are some of the most sought-after courses. Even people who are done with their education are taking on additional courses related to business analytics to improve their standing and understanding of the future of business. Now is also the perfect time to be a part of business analytics it is still developing and getting better.


Business Analytics Vs. Business Intelligence

Business analytics can actually be a part of business intelligence, but they both have separate identities. Both are the best ways to manage and process vast amounts of data with the sole purpose of improving your business. They function similarly but they have a few differences that can become deciding points for you to use either business analytics of business intelligence.

When it comes to descriptive analysis and diagnostic analysis, business intelligence scores over business analytics as it provides a better look at the past and present condition of your business. However, when it comes to predictive analysis and prescriptive analysis, which show you the way forward, business analytics is better than business intelligence.

Related Blog: A Comprehensive Comparison: Business Analytics Vs Business Intelligence

How You Can Make Career in Business Analytics

Business analytics is an excellent area in business to make a career in. Many careers are coming up and the pay is also quite good as these are expert positions. You need to find and study a good course from a reputed institute. There are many postgraduate courses for business analytics you can enroll in for. There are certification courses as well that you can do.

Some careers in business analytics that you can pursue are financial analyst, data architect, big data engineer, marketing analytics manager, and analytics specialist. There are many other careers as well, and all of these careers come of a high salary tag and many benefits.

Suggested Reading: PGDM in Business Analytics: Everything You Need to Know


Business analytics is an excellent field to make a career in. It is going to change businesses for the better. Many business analytics tools are currently being used by some of the biggest businesses and have become a part of our everyday life. There are many benefits as well to using business analytics.

Business analytics also scores over business intelligence as it is better at predictive and prescriptive analysis. Therefore, making it a better product for improving the business. Careers in business analysis are also quite good. Therefore, one can safely say that this aspect of business is only going to grow and dictate other aspects of business. Therefore, if you are choosing to get an education in business analytics, you are making the right move.

Suggested: Top 15 Career Opportunities after PGDM in Business Analytics

Gear Up For the Future With ASM’s IBMR

Education is the first step if you want to be an expert in business analytics and the best place to start your education is ASMs IBMR. It is one of the top colleges in Pune for undergrad and higher education. The institute offers a PGDM in Business Analytics & Big Data which has been rated as one of the best in the industry. It is an industry-centric course taught by excellent faculty and guest faculty from the business analytics and big data industry.

IBMR also has many other industry-centric courses that will put you on the fast track to success. You should visit the institute and take a look at the courses, infrastructure and even meet with the faculty. Our counsellors will also give you all the information you need on the dual specialisations PGDM. Get in touch today!

ASM's Institute of Business Management & Research, Pune was established in 1983. It is affiliated to University of Pune. It is a prominent institute for higher education in the state of Maharashtra.