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Business Analytics: Tools, Applications & Benefits

Today organizations and business firms around the world are harnessing the power of data to transform the business scenario. The quantity of data being generated and collected is increasing exponentially with each passing minute. However, merely accumulating data cannot benefit an organization. It is only by transforming this data into a valuable asset that companies can add value to their core foundation. The key to success lies in converting the massive amount of data into actionable information that can drive profitability, scale-up revenue, and boost the overall efficiency of an organization. Hence, business analytics courses and jobs are in high demand in India. 

Let’s look at what is analytics in-depth!

What is Business Analytics?

The simplest way to answer “what is analytics” would be that it is “the study of data through statistical and operations analysis, the formation of predictive models, application of optimization techniques, and the communication of these results to customers, business partners, and college executives.”  Business Analytics leverages Big Data through quantitative techniques to promote enhanced business modeling and decision making.

Although Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI) are often used synonymously, they are quite different. While BI focuses on gathering data from multiple sources and processing it for analyzation, BA analyzes all the relevant information provided by BI to foster data-driven decisions.

Types of Business Analytics

  1. Descriptive Analytics

It tracks KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to determine the existing state of a business.

 2. Predictive Analytics

It analyzes the data trends to explore the odds of future outcomes.

3. Prescriptive Analytics

It uses past performance data to create recommendations that help to deal with identical situations in the future.

How does Business Analytics help in the present age?

The digital era has conveyed a significant surge in several services like customer service, self-service, and multi-faceted connectivity. Digitalization has paid attention to the customer through all business analytics procedures. There has been a gradual shift from the conventional practice of seller-focused business to the one which is more sympathetic and prioritizes experience. Consequently, it creates a platform for product customization. The currently available digital tools and social media tools bridge the gap between customers and business analytics. Thus, BI tools bring them together.

Now that you’re aware of what is analytics, let’s look at some of the most used analytics tools.

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Benefits of Business Analytics

The substantial growth in the IT sector has made business analytics applications much relevant than earlier. All the valuable data, computer-based models and statistical analysis combine to make Analytics. Making appropriate decisions for the growth of the company in the future and being ready to overcome the challenges you might face is the sole motto of Analytics. It’s becoming a huge aspect of the tech industry. 

According to Forbes, 53% percent of the tech industry has already adopted this culture due to foreseeable benefits of Business Analytics. No kidding, it will be the shift to a more significant part of the enterprise and most problems will be already solved using this before the issue even arises.

Business Analytics Tools

The next stop after answering “what is analytics” is looking at some tools for the same:

1. Sisense

Sisense is one of the most popular analytics tools in the market. In 2016, it won the Best Business Intelligence Software Award from FinancesOnline. Sisense is an excellent tool for simplifying complex data analyses and making Big Data insights viable for both small and medium-sized companies.

It includes robust and dynamic text analysis features. These features allow users to convert unstructured text into useful business intelligence.  Sisense business analytics platform boasts the proprietary Sisense Crowd Accelerated BI. It utilizes open-source language for computational statistics. Moreover, it enables users to carry out broad analysis and visualization of complex data. Consequently, it encourages data-driven decisions and enhanced forecasting of forthcoming trends.  Hence, Sisense is one of the futuristic BI tools.

Key features:

  • Sisense’s in-chip technology can process data ten times faster than conventional systems.
  • It accumulates data from multiple sources with complete accuracy.

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2. Clear Analytics

Clear Analytics is an Excel-based intelligence tool that is loaded with many useful features such as reports scheduling, version control, administrative and sharing capabilities, and governance. For anyone who’s well-versed in Market Excel, using this tool will be very easy. It includes various BI-oriented features to help automate, analyze, and visualize all of the relevant data and information of a company.

Key features:

  • When using Clear Analytics, you don’t need a data warehouse as it pre-aggregates data through the Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) approach.
  • Tracing and auditing data is particularly convenient with this tool, so there remains compliance on all levels of the company.
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3. Pentaho BI

Pentaho BI is one of the leading tools in open source business intelligence. It can gather data from across a variety of sources and transforms this data into helpful insights that can be formulated into well-articulated plans and campaigns. To be precise, Pentaho BI is the ideal tool for businesses looking to scale up profits through better, faster, and accurate decision-making.

Key features:

  • It offers an array of rich navigation features that can enhance data visualization when aided by web-based dashboards.
  • The intuitive and interactive analytics of Pentaho BI is equipped with advanced features such as for lasso filtering, zooming, attribute highlight and drill down for improved functioning.

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4. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is an efficient tool that allows companies to access all business data from one place effortlessly. Everything is integrated into a consolidated platform so that business organizations can leverage the data to create meaningful and compelling campaigns. MicroStrategy uses powerful dashboards and data analytics to boost productivity, reduce costs, optimize revenue, and predict new opportunities, all of which are crucial to a company’s growth.

It assimilates outstanding analytics capabilities that facilitate the stress-free processing of unstructured text data. The data specialists can further analyze this data through the platform’s text analytics solutions.

It is one of the most updated BI tools that incorporate insightful statistical and analytical capabilities. These capabilities facilitate trend forecasting in real-time. It also supports options for third-party data mining. Furthermore, it combines a range of business analytics and methods which allow users to create and share business analytics reports from any device and anywhere.

Key features:

  • It can be used both from mobile devices or desktops.
  • MicroStrategy allows you to save data either on-site or in the cloud (powered by Amazon Web services).

5. QlikView

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QlikView is a super user-friendly platform, incorporating best of both worlds – from tech-savvy business intelligence tools to traditional productivity apps, you’ll find it all here. This tool allows organizations to harness and process data in a way that fosters innovation. Whether you want to enhance, re-engineer, or provide support to the various business processes, Qlikview applications ensure that you come up with exciting and efficient solutions for all business requirements.

It is one of the most favored tools for business analytics since it boasts unique features like in-memory processing and patented technology. So, it offers ultra-fast business analytics reports.

Key features:

  • QlikView offers a host of customized solutions for sectors such as banking, insurance, etc.
  • It is a self-service tool through which businesses can analyze and manipulate data to gain useful insights. 

6. Board

Board is included in this list of leading business analyst software tools since it features a cutting-edge business analytics model. This model allows users to develop intuitive and interactive business analytics dashboards and reports. So, it is one of the widely used business intelligence tools for realizing the latest business models.

It is also recognized as a highly-scalable business analytics platform. It incorporates top-notch analytical tools for different businesses. It can handle huge data volumes. Moreover, it also supports accurate scenario analysis and estimation by controlling the data fed to scenarios.

Key features:

  • “One View” feature combines data sources into a single logical view and conveys all its functionalities in one place.
  • “Self-Service BI” facilitates self-sufficiency by finding answers to business questions without any assistance from IT.

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7. Dundas BI

It is one of the feature-rich business intelligence tools that provide top-notch business intelligence and business analytics solutions. It uses the R programming language. It uses robust business analytics tools. So, it offers trend forecasting, automated analytics, and an advanced dashboard. These functionalities assist users in visualizing data and developing business analytics reports via drag-and-drop features.

Key features:

  • It not just assesses the data but simplifies the multidimensional analytics for users. So users would be able to focus on their business’s crucial tasks.
  • It is accessible via mobile devices to let users access its functionalities on the go.
  • It uses an open API to enable the adjustment and customization of various industry-sector data.

Benefits of Business Analytics Tools

The valuable insight provided by BA tools allows organizations and companies to chalk out ways to optimize and automate business processes. Not only do BA tools help companies make data-driven decisions, but they also have many more clear-cut advantages:

  • Business analytics make tracking and monitoring business processes extremely efficient and seamless, thereby allowing companies to handle even the most complex of business operations with ease.
  • The market insights offered by BA and BI tools can give you a competitive edge over your competitors as you always get updates about your competitors, latest consumer trends, and also about potential markets. This is highly advantageous for businesses in a competitive environment.
  • BA tools (predictive modeling and predictive analytics) can offer accurate and timely predictions about the market conditions while simultaneously allowing you to streamline your marketing strategies for the best possible outcomes.
  • Using statistical and quantitative analysis, you can get a plausible explanation on why specific strategies fail and why others remain successful. Thus, you get a clearer idea of what kind of plans you should focus on and what to leave out.
  • BA tools can efficiently measure the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) which can further assist companies to make better and timely decisions.

Other benefits of Business Analytics Tools:

1. Enhanced Accountability

The best business intelligence tools benefit your company with improved productivity. Many employees don’t effectively respond to micromanagement. This aspect suggests that you have to use cutting-edge tools to assess their productivity. The choice of the best BI tools states the tasks to be done and the deadline by which the work must be completed.

2. Quick completion of projects

The leading business analyst tools shorten the projects’ duration. You can use them to decrease the time taken between beginning a project and getting it approved. These tools notify team members when the deadline is near or if they are missed. Moreover, the team leaders inform employees about new projects, modifications in schedules, and policy updates. The time required to determine these concerns is vital in the long run. This means that you need to use cutting-edge business intelligence software to work on profitable projects.

3. Flawless Communication

The well-known business analyst tools remove the dependency on telephones and paper chasing. This makes business operations more efficient via flawless communication.  Consequently, it decreases the organization’s turnover rates. One of the reasons for quitting jobs is poor communication in offices. You can use business analytics tracking software to provide employees with a better way of exploring what should be done currently and in the future.

4. Streamlines the business processes

The business analyst tools provide valuable insight into the operation of your business. You can use automation software to understand which tasks are to be done concurrently instead of being finished sequentially. Moreover, you can determine which steps are superfluous. This means you will make informed decisions and choices using suitable business intelligence software. For instance, you would know which employees accomplish specific tasks effectively instead of who happens to be free at that specific time.

 5. Decreases manual labor

The best business analyst tools or best business intelligence software lets your team members work on monotonous tasks. For instance, they can improve their skills by working on facets that need more human input. Reliable work management tools guarantee swift completion of work without human errors. Rather than using these tools to substitute employees, you can use them to make the workplace more dynamic. Ultimately, it enhances the organization’s overall self-esteem.

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Applications Of Business Analytics

The industries using Business Analytics on a day to day basis will help you understand what is analytics in a much practical fashion. Here are some of the industries:

Marketing

Business analytics is gaining ground in the field of marketing because it can reveal vital statistics about consumer behavior and market trends. Furthermore, it can help companies to identify their target customers as well as potential markets that promise significant growth.

Finance

Business analytics is crucial to the finance sector. Using BA tools finance companies can process the vast amounts of data available at their disposal to unravel valuable insights on the performance of stocks and provide advice to the client whether to hold on to it or sell it.

Human Resources

HR professionals are now using BA and BI tools to conduct relevant background checks on potential candidates. Using BA tools they can find out detailed information about employee attrition rate, high-performance candidates, and so on.

Manufacturing

Business analytics has also come to play a pivotal role in the manufacturing sector. It can use the data to offer meaningful insights into inventory management, supply chain management, the performance of targets, and risk mitigation plans. Also, BA tools can help companies scale up the efficiency of their operations.

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You can also check out IIT Delhi Certification Course in Business Analytics. IIT Delhi is one of the top institutes in India and also one of the oldest IIT’s and is always excelled in giving highly industry-relevant courses, Now IIT Delhi has partnered with upGrad to get these top IIT Delhi courses online. They have a variety of other programs like Machine Learning, Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation, Digital Marketing and Business Analytics etc.

Today, Business Analytics has become an integral part of the business world. As data keeps on piling up by the minute, more and more organizations are relying on BA and BI tools to boost profitability and optimize business operations. And more students and professionals are rushing to pursue business analytics courses to brush up their knowledge and experience. And with the cut-throat competition that exists today, businesses that do not integrate business analytics within their framework are not only missing out on growth opportunities but also might fail to keep up with the market over time.

What are Business Analytics tools?

Business analytics tools are used by business analysts to retrieve data from one or more business systems using different types of application software and incorporated in a repository where data is reviewed and analysed. Most organisations deploy a mix of analytics tools which include spreadsheets with statistical functions, statistical software packages, sophisticated data mining tools, predictive modelling tools, etc. to give the organisation a complete overview of the company. These analytics tools will not only provide key insights and better business understanding but also help in making smarter decisions regarding efficiency, productivity, profitability, customer conversation and more. Some of the trending Business Analytics Tools are: SAS Business Analytics : SAS Business Analytics provides cognizance of business operations by integrating with complex and big data, mobile devices, CRMs, etc. It also helps businesses to take advantage of their own analytics and internal data by using analytics tools including dashboards, predictive analytics, real time analytics, and many more. Sisense : Sisense is one of the most popular BA tools. Sisense not only simplifies complex data analyses but also makes big data insights feasible for all types of businesses. Pentaho BI : Pentaho BI is a cloud based data integration tool and business analytics platform which provides a wide range of business intelligence solutions to the customers. Pentaho BI is one of the leading open source business intelligence tools offering data integration, analytics, mining and reporting capabilities.

What is the application of BA?

BA is applicable across all the verticals of business such as finance, marketing, supply chain management human resource management, CRM, risk mitigation, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. Virtually any sector that has data can benefit from using business analytics to unlock valuable insights.

What are the benefits of using Business Analytics?

Business Analytics is increasingly being used by companies to make accurate future decisions. These decisions help a company to improve profitability, increase market share and also improve their bottom line . BA helps in Improving performance of a business by giving a clear picture of what is and what is not working. Making accurate and quick decisions Minimizing risk by making the right choices of consumer behaviour, ongoing trends and performance. Inspiring change and innovation

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