Analytics: What You Should Know and Why It Matters

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Sometimes, it is essential to go back to basics to understand our technologies fully. Analytics is a fundamental part of the building blocks of our data systems. The term is undoubtedly familiar to most people. However, a considerable fraction of them would have a bit of difficulty in explaining the concept.

What is analytics? This is the scientific process of obtaining and conveying meaningful information from data. Analytics entails decoding raw data to provide perspective on the relevant subjects. It helps to establish patterns in the data, hence guiding the process of making better decisions.

Analytics is founded on three key elements:

  • Statistics and its application;
  • Operations research;
  • Computer programming.

These particular aspects mentioned above are vital in evaluating the data that is analyzed. Consequently, quantifying the data enables the systems to derive the meaning of the established patterns.

In this data-driven age, meaningful information is ostensibly invaluable. Analytics, in this case, is the oracle that determines the meaning from vast quantities of data. It is the ultimate game-changer in every sector where data is collected, whether in small or vast amounts. This forms the basis of fundamental analytics capabilities; description, prescription, and prediction

In finding the patterns that are hidden data, analytics has changed how we view ourselves and the world around us. It has given a more in-depth and broader perspective in several use cases, ranging from consumer behavior and disease-activity correlations to sporting performances. It is such use cases that are helping us to make the world a better place.

How does Analytics Work

The first step to any analytics project is to obtain the data. Complex systems in today’s computing world ensure that vast amounts of data can be acquired through multiple passes. Regardless of the speeds, sizes, and complexity, there is enough computing power currently available to get the job done. 

The subsequent process of the first step is preparing the data. The systems employed should be able to clean the data. Intelligent platforms assess the quality of the data, similar to essay writing verification systems. This ensures that the process of preparation is monitored and streamlined. The end product can, then, be trusted as reliable. This step of the cycle also entails data governance to protect the data.

The second step, discovery, is about exploring, visualizing, and building models from the data. This mainly involves creating multiple algorithms to find the best methods of approach. There is a lot of trial and error in this step to compare various models and their suitability.

Discovery is usually a collaborative process. Data scientists with diverse skillsets take up the task of writing the code in the appropriate programming language. Non-programmers, consequently, will analyze the results of the various analytical approaches.

Deployment is the last step in the cycle. It simply means putting analytics results in practical use.  Organizations that can move fast through the analytic life cycle are able to accomplish tangible results just as quickly.

Analytics and the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Image by Gerd Altmann

In today’s world, there is much less hampering what we can achieve at an analytical scale. Processing speeds and data storage are only but limits of the past. This has created the gateway for us to accomplish unimaginable feats in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Currently, combining analytics with deep learning and automation are the bedrock for the next era of artificial intelligence. We have progressed from merely interpreting and predicting. Now we can also task the systems to learn on their own from the data available.

Any contemporary work on analytics will quite likely mention natural language processing. This is one of the fields of analytics that have sprung from machine learning. NLP focuses on speech-to-text systems. These are proving to be immensely progressive in areas that require human-machine interactions, such as customer service.

Analytics and machine learning are also the basis for autonomous cars. Next time you hop onto a vehicle that the manufacturer assures you can drive itself, you will have analytics to thank. There is a chance you will use the time off the wheel to catch up on a suggested TV show. Analytics will also have been entirely responsible for the recommendation engine.

There is certainly plenty to anticipate from the analytics ecosystem. The applications seem to be preceding human imagination. Perhaps, then, we can be able to address and tackle present-day problems as we look to build the foundation of a brighter future.

Image by xresch