Since the dawn of commerce, merchants have worked to learn what’s on their customers’ minds and how they can refine their business models and attract more customers. Those challenges still exist today—however, the difference is that we have better tools. In fact, our country’s first industrialists could only marvel if they could see what we’re capable of today. One of the biggest driving forces behind the many great strides we’ve made is data analytics.

Data analytics have actually been around for over 80 years, but it’s taken on new life in recent decades, and today, it’s grander than anyone ever could’ve imagined. Indeed, it’s so grand that one of its pet names is big data. The chances are you’ve heard of either advanced analytics, big data, or any of several other names, but many people still don’t know what data analytics is or what it’s for, let alone what it can do for their business. That’s why we’re giving you a brief guide on the basics of analytics and some reasons your company needs to embrace big data. Continue reading to learn more.

Let us define data analytics.

Whether or not you know the data analytics definition, your company generates and consumes massive amounts of data. A great example of data is your utility bills. You get a bill for your electricity, water, Wi-Fi, and other services every month, and the service providers use special equipment to monitor your use of their services. They use basic analytics to tabulate the amount you owe for your utilities.

Analytics goes much deeper than the layman’s explanation above. Big data analytics involves processing all of a company’s data, from customer interactions and sales to key performance indicators (KPIs) for employee production. Analytics relies heavily on artificial intelligence and automation to analyze your qualitative data, quantitative data, real-time data, and unstructured data. Data scientists deploy algorithms wherever possible to recognize correlations and anomalies in data to provide business users with actionable insights. Now, let’s get into why your company should embrace big data sooner rather than later.

1. Data analytics can help you predict future trends.

One of the best things about data analytics is you can use it to accurately predict future outcomes. If you’re a football fan, you’ve probably heard a lot about data analytics on fourth-down plays when the coach has to decide whether to go for a first down or punt to the other team. Indeed, coaching staff throughout professional and collegiate sports use predictive analytics to shape their game plans and make clutch-time decisions. Predictive analytics can help your company recognize future trends and adjust your business model accordingly.

2. Analytics enables your company to improve best practices.

Another thing businesses love about data analytics is it enables them to enhance their best practices. Furthermore, with tools like OKR software, companies can get valuable insights into business operations and employee productivity. Also, many small businesses and large enterprises incorporate data warehouses to provide fast access to business analytics.

3. Analytics tools help companies gather new information from different sources.

The main function of business analytics is to provide business leaders with new insights to help inform their business decisions. Companies get new information every day from different sources, and most fail to capitalize on it to guide their business operations. Big data incorporates the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning to give business owners all the business intelligence they can possibly gather.

The best reason to get on board with advanced analytics is that your competition is already using them. Big data has come a long way in recent decades, and now that it’s accessible to everyone, all indications are that it will continue to expand. Companies that don’t get on board with analytics will have perfect seats on the docks to watch their competitors sail off into a brave new future. Do you really need any more reasons to adopt business analytics?

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