Business Analytics refers to the skills, technologies, practices for the analysis of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning and operations. It focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on historical and current data and statistical methods.
Business Analytics makes extensive use of statistical analysis, including explanatory and predictive modeling, and fact-based management to drive performance and decision making. It is therefore closely related to management science and it is widely use in each functional area and in the entire organization.
Business Analytics is then used as input for human decisions or may drive fully automated decisions or help improve operational performance. Business intelligence tools facilitate querying, reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), and alerts to answer questions such as what happened, how many, how often, where the problem is, and what actions are needed. Business Analytics can further answer questions like why is this happening, what if these trends continue, what will happen next (predict), and what is the best outcome that can happen (optimize).
Performance Analytics provides the evidence to set the overall levels of services and/or production to best satisfy the current Business Plan, while meeting objectives of profitability, productivity, competitive customer lead times, etc.
Performance Analytics is essential and instrumental to decision-making and planning; it provides the facts to balance demand and supply, to integrate financial planning, sales planning and operational planning, and to link high-level strategic plans with day-to-day operations.
Using historic data, Analytics helps to understand trends, discover patterns, and simulate different scenarios to forecast anticipated demand, inventory and supply, and customer lead times.
Data Visualization (dashboards, scorecards) helps clients to monitor and control the forecasted services and/or production rates and key performance indicators (KPIs) and thus driving performance improvement to outperform competitors and/or improve customer satisfaction.