What is Analytics?
Analytics or Data Analytics are terms universally recognised by businesses and organisations as the means to making fact-based decisions.
Arriving at the ability to make those decisions is the result of combining software, process and skills. This article discusses:
- Beyond inferential statistics
- Approachable analytics
- Accessible analytics
- Data preparation
Beyond Inferential Statistics
Using modern software solutions such as SAS Viya, we can automate insightful decision making from vast amounts of rapidly changing data. Traditionally, statisticians manually build, test and refine models. Today, machine learning algorithms optimise models from bewildering numbers of parameters that would otherwise be impossible to complete manually. Once models are deployed, we monitor and automatically retrain models as their effectiveness decays.
Analysts can explore, visualise, fit and compare predictive models using solutions such as SAS Visual Statistics. With intuitive interfaces analysts are not required to learn intricate statistical procedures and model fitting options. Statisticians and Data Scientists are not redundant though! Advanced modelling environments, such as SAS Enterprise Miner, bring extended modelling choices. Methodologies which may be available through open source solutions are easily integrated with proprietary software in modern analytics platforms.
A large part of an analyst's work is telling the story of data. Often nothing more complex than descriptive statistics presented visually, interactively and intelligently, it conveys a message concisely. Visualisations such as changing demand, shifting demographics, the predicted value of prized customer segments or simulations of future supply scenarios are readily created with SAS Visual Analytics. Providing familiar environments for your colleagues to digest this information is appropriate. Analytics can be viewed and commented on via browser, tablet and Microsoft Office. The security controls and audit trails of SAS flow through to all devices and software consuming SAS analytics.
Fundamental to analytics is data preparation in a structure that combines the attributes of a subject for a given record or event. Businesses are very good at storing transactional data efficiently, but few store data efficiently for analytics. Transforming data from efficient DBMS to data mart structures of longitudinal or single event data must be planned. This is easily achieved and repeatable given SAS Data Management or a helping of SAS Programming expertise in your business. Integral to this work is data quality. The validity of data within and between columns, events and entities is crucial to trusting repeatable analytics on which decisions are based.
The process of analytics can be summarised as:
- Defining the business question
- Identifying and accessing data
- Preparing data
- Exploring and reporting
- Building and deploying models for prediction and decisions
- Acting on decisions and learning from the outcome.
Your business should follow a project methodology to govern this process. You should be able to demonstrate the value of analytics to your business at the end of any project phase. Amadeus adheres to our ISO 9001:2015 quality system. This ensures we achieve your success criteria and objectives of every analytics project we embark upon.
In summary, Analytics is a process, a project or a task which brings the skills of analysts together with modern analytical environments and software. Complex or simple sets of data are analysed without hindrance of analytical methodology through approachable and intuitive software. A single analytics platform governs data flow and security. The time and effort required to deliver analytics is accelerated and automated in modern analytics.
To download our case study of maximising our customer’s insights through the implementation of SAS Visual Analytics, click here.
To discuss licensing SAS software to better inform your organisation’s in-house analytics, or to arrange a full Amadeus audit of your SAS environment, contact us today.