Data analytics definition

Data analytics is a discipline focused on extracting insights from data. It comprises the processes, tools and techniques of data analysis and management, including the collection, organization, and storage of data. The chief aim of data analytics is to apply statistical analysis and technologies on data to find trends and solve problems. Data analytics has become increasingly important in the enterprise as a means for analyzing and shaping business processes and improving decision-making and business results.

Data analytics draws from a range of disciplines — including computer programming, mathematics, and statistics — to perform analysis on data in an effort to describe, predict, and improve performance. To ensure robust analysis, data analytics teams leverage a range of data management techniques, including data mining, data cleansing, data transformation, data modeling, and more.

Data analytics vs. data analysis

While the terms data analytics and data analysis are frequently used interchangeably, data analysis is a subset of data analytics concerned with examining, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data to derive conclusions. Data analytics includes the tools and techniques used to perform data analysis.

Data analytics vs. data science

Data analytics and data science are closely related. Data analytics is a component of data science, used to understand what an organization’s data looks like. Generally, the output of data analytics are reports and visualizations. Data science takes the output of analytics to study and solve problems.

The difference between data analytics and data science is often seen as one of timescale. Data analytics describes the current or historical state of reality, whereas data science uses that data to predict and/or understand the future.

Data analytics vs. business analytics

Business analytics is another subset of data analytics. Business analytics uses data analytics techniques, including data mining, statistical analysis, and predictive modeling, to drive better business decisions. Gartner defines business analytics as “solutions used to build analysis models and simulations to create scenarios, understand realities, and predict future states.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.