Business Analytics - Meaning, Benefits, Challenges

“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the Web like deer on a freeway.”
– Geoffrey Moore, Author

The era of technology has given rise to a sea wave of change of how data is used. Business Analytics is an emerging field in data science that aims at using data to develop business insights that can be beneficial to the organization. You’ll see implementation of BA in various areas. Let’s take an example: Credit rating companies analyze the credit card transactions of its consumers and can predict the spending pattern of the consumer as well as his financial health. This information can be useful to companies to find their target audience. Another example can be a mobile company which extracts data about the customer’s frequency of calls, recharge amounts, etc. This information can be classified and later used by the company as per its objective. In fact, Bharti Airtel, has successfully implemented BA as a part of their Analytics department, and it has led to positive outcomes.

Definition of BA according to Techopedia,
Business analytics (BA) refers to all the methods and techniques that are used by an organization to measure performance. Business analytics are made up of statistical methods that can be applied to a specific project, process or product.

In short, with employment of various statistical and quantitative techniques to process data and present information and build predictive models that can be beneficial for the business. Thus, it is that branch of analytics that concentrates on making one well-equipped with data that can help bring positive outcomes in the business. It is the process of converting data into insights. Apart from merely using the data by analysts, professionals of business analysts work together with the management and are a part of the decision making process.

Business Analytics Vs. Business Intelligence
Business Analytics has often been confused with business intelligence. However, both are parts of analytics, and there is difference between the two terms. Business Analytics measures portrays current data and gauges which is the best possible strategy to deal with it. On the other hand, Business Intelligence sees the current happenings, and what has been done in the past to deal with it. Business Analytics involves the usage of Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analysis, whereas Business Intelligence only uses descriptive analysis.
Benefits of implementing BA in your organization

Apart from having applications in various arenas, following are the benefits of Business Analytics and its impact on business –

  • Accurately transferring information
  • Consequent improvement in efficiency
  • Help portray Future Challenges
  • Make Strategic decisions
  • As a perfect blend of data science and analytics
  • Reduction in Costs
  • Improved Decisions
  • Share information with a larger audience
  • Ease in Sharing information with stakeholders

Moreover, any technology is subject to its own set of problems and challenges. Following are the challenges in implementing business analytics in an organization.

  • Lack of technical skills in employees
  • Fuss over acceptance of BA by staff
  • Data Security and Maintenance
  • Integrity of Data
  • Delivering relevant information in the given time
  • Inability to address complex issues
  • Costs involved in implementing BA
  • Investment of staff time in implementation of BA
  • Lack of a proper strategy to implement BA

Considering the above challenges, there is a dearth of professionals who’re well-equipped with the knowledge of Business Analytics. A BA professional can take up a corporate roles in various sectors: marketing, insurance, management, finance, health care & lifestyle, etc. In fact, there is still hesitation to use trends and statistics for making business decisions, and most of them still are comfortable trusting their gut feeling for making strategic decisions.

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