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Overview of Business Analytics

Lets first talk about what analytics is not: 1. Analytics is not about statistical formulas . Its about interpreting results of statistical analysis. 2. Do not expect analytics to provide clear cut answers to problems. In real life there are no clear cut solutions. Systematic gathering of data and information coupled with logical deductions and reasonable assumptions will lead to informed decisions. 3. Analytics especially in the business context does not involve complex mathematical modelling. Very often it is simple ways of looking at data. 4. Analytics does not make decisions for you. It is a decision support tool. 5. Analytics is not as sophisticated as it sounds. It is just common sense and rational or creative thinking. 6. Analytics does not require the use of fancy (costly) statistical software. MS Excel with some off the shelf (cheap) add-ins will do an equally reliable job. (StatistiXL, XLMiner, StatEL, StatTools, WinSTAT ...etc) Some rules to remember for getting good at analytics: 1. Define the problem. Know what exactly what you are looking for. 2. Look at data from different perspectives. Use visual tools like graphs, charts OLAP cubes and tables. Example... 3. Create new variables, collapse categories to generate a totally different perspective. 4. A first level analysis (frequencies & Crosstabs) usually presents a lot of insights about the problem. 5. Connect the dots. Combine insights from various analyses to draw conclusions. 6. Mix and match. Explore possibilities for further analysis building upon results from one technique. 7. Dont go by statistics alone. Use your intuition.