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Importance of Business Analytics in Pakistan: How data fuels business strategy?

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Business analytics in Pakistan is the core of national strategy across various institutions. They use it for informing polio campaigns, crime policing, international trade, and arms manufacturing etc., Private telecommunication sector allegedly uses business analytics to run marketing operations, supply chain and service security. 

This article sheds light on seven examples of business analytics in Pakistan and answers how data fuels business strategy.

But let’s first understand, what exactly is business analytics? And its use in marketing, supply chain, resource planning, and customer relationship in organizations.

What is business analytics?

Business analytics combines multiple disciplines and technologies– such as statistics, business management and data analytics– to find answers to business questions. This is done via analysis of existing data and finding hidden patterns. These quickly derived patterns then act as knowledge for corporate executives to formulate strategies easier and faster. 

Though conventional business management also relied on insights from data, the ability of BA to systematically organize and analyze large amounts of data has been transformational in the development of competitive business strategies.

In one case, the end product of business analytics is a dashboard which is a visual representation of the summarized business data. At the backdoor of this dashboard lies an iterative, methodical process called data pipeline that covers a series of sequential steps such as data cleaning, transformation into optimal shape, data enrichment and data visualization. Advanced forms of BA include more complex analysis such as using machine learning and statistical modeling to perform business forecasting.

Business analytics is a continuous, ongoing process that offers real-time monitoring of instant data along with flexibility to voluntarily select data for reporting or strategy building. 

Examples: Examples of business analytics tools include: Excel, Power BI, KNIME analytics platform, Tableau, Qlick, and SQL (Teradata, Postgres etc). These tools offer an easy and intuitive set of features to perform business analytics tasks such as data cleaning, merging, organization, visualization, and statistical analysis.

Here’s a glimpse of what a business analytics dashboard looks like in Microsoft Excel.

A business analytics dashboard built on Excel presents a report on nation traders monthly performance/ Microsoft

Applications of Business Analytics- a few examples

Business analytics gracefully runs management applications such as marketing analytics, supply chain analytics, ERP– enterprise resource planning, and CRM– customer relationship management, by creating successful means that improve productivity, quality, and customer experience.  

1. Marketing Analytics

It is the application of business analytics on marketing data to drive marketing strategies. Such analytics empowers marketing executives to learn about individual customer interests thus obtaining an idea on advertising to these specific segments. The creation of such targeted content helps generate quality sales, improves customer retention and even identifies demand for a potential product. 

2. Supply Chain Analytics

When business analytics is applied on the supply chain data– that relates to procurement, processing and distribution of goods– it brings useful information that remarkably transforms the supply chain operations into lean and agile thereof. For example:

Greater visibility

When the whole supply chain is embedded on a BA system, every business department is involved in providing its input thereby creating a single source of truth. This enhances the data visibility, leading to effective control and decision making. With supply chain analytics there’s no hassle of siloed working and miscoordination of data. 

Enhanced operational efficiency

The day to day operations of the supply chain can significantly improve when planned with business analytics. As one of the examples from the vast supply activities, calculating optimal logistic routes for shipping and distribution significantly reduces fuel costs and time of arrival. 

Increase accuracy in planning

Supply chain analytics also serve for better selling. When a customer places an order, supply chain analysts can identify the potential next needs of the customer. This key supply chain analytics data can drive better marketing decisions.

Lean supply chain

A lean supply chain is efficient, produces zero waste and is robust to delays. When warehouse, supply partners, and customers are all brought on a BA platform, the derived information as a result creates an efficient, low loss, and always running supply chain. Managers know when to refill the warehouse, or when renegotiation is required with partners. They can also identify red flags when customer orders are not met in time.  

3. ERP– Enterprise Resource Planning

What: ERP technology allows businesses to automate and manage manual processes– such as loading information and forms, tracking receivables, creating sales orders, and emailing notices– to improve operational efficiency. As a result, ERP connects all departments– finance, accounting, marketing and sales, supply chain etc, and coordinates data between them.

ERP & BA: From one angle, ERP is all about digitizing the whole business process. The above digital generates a wealth of data that resides at a central ERP database. Business analytics draws on this useful data and suggests meaningful insights. Note that, the essence of the ERP system is that it brings a single source of truth– carrying cross-departmental information, for the BA system to proceed with. 

Advantage: It enables business executives to tease out high level tasks– such as financial planning, process improvements, employee programs– that translate to higher efficiency, cost savings, and better productivity.

4. CRM– Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management is an application of business analytics that solely exists for the purpose of analysis of customer data. It improves your ability  to see how well your service delivery and sales operations serve customer-facing business problems.

CRM drives three critical business processes– marketing, sales and customer service. This means, the technology would be used to find the data trends in; advertising (see marketing analytics), products sold, sales channels, customer acquisition, and after sale complaints. 

How data fuels business strategy?

A business strategy represents an organization’s high level goals, plan of action, and resource allocation. The examples in the previous section show how data on multiple processes could be collected, cleaned, organized, and analyzed to derive useful knowledge. This knowledge, derived from multiple sources, is highly accurate and has the potential to lead strategy formulation and tactical responses, saving executives with time and manual effort.

Importance of Business Analytics in Pakistan

Business analytics in Pakistan plays an ambitious role organizations empowering them to achieve strategic goals which otherwise take huge time and effort. Whether its polio eradication, crime policing or international trade, the technology has become integral in optimizing national operations and informing high level strategies. In the Pakistan private sector, organizations also leverage BA to improve the quality, service delivery, customer experience– and ultimately profitability.  

Following are seven examples of Pakistan industries utilizing business analytics.

Industry Problem statement Business Analytics solution

Police

With no hint of where to start, police use statistical analysis techniques on previous crime data to estimate the most likely crime hotspot. But such manual analysis of criminal records presents the challenge of huge time consumption and inaccuracy in results. Pakistan police uses crime analytics software that collects and organizes criminal records and processes it for producing spatio-temporal reports. Advanced analytics are used within the software to predict a potential crime hotspot. It even has the potential to formulate tactical responses based on previous examples of policing. 
Trade Lack of visibility from slow information administration creates chaotic port blockages that lead to wastage of hundreds of hours in shipment. The digital platform by Pakistan Customs- Pakistan Single Window, uses business analytics for real-time monitoring of trade inflows and outflows. This improves port status visibility at the Customs and offers the opportunity to plan for an optimal cargo processing.
Polio Application of traditional methods for tracking infants and toddlers in polio campaigns is extremely slow, and prone to errors. It becomes a huge challenge especially in the fifth largest population base on the planet. Pakistan’s polio eradication strategy puts business analytics at its core and uses its capabilities to reach every single child across the country. The BA platform is integrated with the population database at NADRA, and reports on children distribution across geographical regions.
Arms Within Pakistan, and across the globe, as humanity continuously faces threats from malicious characters, the fulfillment of the ensuing demand for top notch arms and ammunition has become a challenge.  Business analytics (or specifically supply chain analytics) has reduced the manufacturing time of Pakistan’s in-house production of arms and ammunition through identifying process improvements and supply chain overheads. 
Telecom With a gigantic subscriber base– more than 70 million, a fast, secure and customized service delivery becomes a challenge. Further, a massive 3000 geographically spread workforce presents another challenge in effective resource utilization. To solve these problems, the telecom company uses business analytics for optimized resource utilization and quality services. For example, using a real-time analytics dashboard, the network management team monitors the live status of network nodes and traffic information. Other advanced applications include usage of predictive analytics for detection of fraud groups, predicting traffic at a node, and driving targeted advertising for an impeccable customer experience. 
Land In Punjab, a digital land administration system becomes critical for the province’s financial stability as well as the country’s food security. Conventional land management is prone to slow manual processing, tiring human effort and lack of transparency– remains inadequate to resolve land disputes in time and verifying fair hand down of legacy. In Punjab, a CRM technology provides the necessary land management and uses business analytics seamlessly to power a simple, fast, and transparent land management system. Apart from digitizing land records and registrations, it uses analytics on this data to extract insights for process improvements, marketing and sales operations. This ultimately works to win trust of citizens thus evading disputes and financial instability as a result.
Equipment Mitigating crimes and tackling criminals requires clever use of digital technology to stay a step ahead of criminals. As an example use case, data analytics can find behavioral trends in data related to telecommunication, traveling, etc, as well as previous criminal records, to identify and locate perpetrators.

Pakistan’s radio and telecom equipment manufacturer made business analytics a core part of their products making police and law enforcers capable of finding and locating criminals. Examples of the BA functions include collecting and analyzing call detail records– CDR, taxation, traveling, airport arrival, bank, excise and internet. An enriched, centralized Criminal Record System houses a data warehouse and uses descriptive analytics to report spatio-temporal distribution of crime data.

Types of Business Analytics techniques

Now all these diverse applications of BA might make you overwhelmed with its number– how many BA applications could be achieved and in how many ways? 

Fortunately, there are only 4 types of business analytics techniques. Each type provides a distinctive value for the company and answers to business problems in 4 contexts. 

Hence, generally there are only 4 types of insights a BA tech can offer. 

Descriptive Analytics

One form of BA is descriptive analytics. It processes data to build reports and presents actionable insights for a business. It’s relatively simple to create, and uses low-level statistics such as data summarization. These summaries are built on historical data– which is the data of the past events, to answer business problems– such as ‘what happened?’. For example, what is the revenue per customer?, the year over year prices changes?, or month over month revenue?   

Diagnostic Analytics

It’s a business analytics type that uses slightly advanced statistics such as regression analysis to diagnose the problems a business faces. It answers questions such as ‘Why did something happen?’. For example, why have sales increased in the last 4 months? Why are customers leaving?, or why is the word of mouth negative? 

With diagnostic analytics, it literally becomes possible to find out the real reason behind any business scenario. It just requires historical data of a set of variables relevant to your business problem, and then using a regression algorithm to determine correlation among them. An example by Harvard Business School states the case of a US meal kit subscription company– Hellofresh, who wanted to know ‘Why their fish-based recipes sold higher over a period?’. The data analytics team thus performed diagnostic analytics over customer attribute variables such as Gender and Location variables, to find relationships with the Fish Sales variable. The regression result found that within the Gender and Location variables, the females living in the Northeastern US had a more liking for Fish thus generating higher sales. 

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is all about estimating the future business scenario. It uses advanced statistics such as regression analysis or classification analysis to power a set of business questions that ask: ‘What will likely happen in future?’. 

For example, the classification prediction model (or the analysis that outputs a discrete value) answers: Is the customer going to leave? Will a client buy a loan?. 

Whereas, the regression prediction model answers questions that require a continuous output value– How much will be the demand of this product in future? or How much revenue is expected for next quarter? etc,. 

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics empowers business professionals with a machine generated action plan that is based on business wisdom. This wisdom is set by veteran business strategists in the form of an algorithm that uses a series of if-else statements to derive a required course of action. 

The type of business questions such as ‘What can be done to induce a future scenario?’ are answered by prescriptive analytics. The machine parses through huge amounts of relevant data and takes guidance from the set requirements to come up with useful recommendations.

Benefits of Business Analytics

The most fascinating benefit of business analytics is that it can help find a logical answer to literally any business question. The only requirement is that the variables which the question translates to, should have numeric value and then using regression or any other statistical technique, one can determine a relationship between them.

More specifically, business analytics provides valuable benefits that empower corporate executives to for example: 

  • Navigate the business’ strategic direction with real-time monitoring of KPIs 
  • Perform financial planning and build business strategies with a centralized view of business
  • Predict employee turnover and access analytics driven reasons. 
  • Use prescriptive analytics to formulate employee retention programs (reward system and talent policies)
  • Gain insights on future market demand– plan new products or introduce changes to existing ones 
  • Estimate future orders and accordingly plan procurement and production 
  • Optimize supply chain processes based on a prescriptive analytics model
  • Discover insights on customer interests, demographics, and behavior, and create highly personalized advertising content 
  • Access new opportunities of selling further to a customer after they purchase

Scope of Business Analytics

Business analytics has huge scope for the next ten years as more and more businesses are adopting digital transformation. As per Gartner– a leading global market analyst, almost 75% of organizations will establish a centralized data and analytics center by 2024, with the core purpose of supporting data initiatives and enterprise process optimization.

Organizations will require talented business analytics professionals to successfully drive data and analytics initiatives. For example, Gartner alerts businesses predicting 80% will fail through 2025, if they don’t adopt modern data governance measures. Building on this, Gartner sheds light that limited companies (only 30%) will be focused on dedicatedly investing in data governance initiatives.

These insights by Gartner encourage organizations that embark on digital transformation, to have a profound data and analytics mechanism that is run by talented business analysts who can successfully navigate through the competitive business scape. 

Career in Business Analytics

When talking about specific business analytics job roles, the demand for some roles is more than the others. There are a total of 12 business analytics job titles one can pursue as per their interest.

  • Data analytics specialist
  • Data engineer
  • BI developer
  • Data architect
  • Business process analyst
  • Fraud analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Marketing analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Retail and sales analyst
  • Analytics and insights manager

How to excel in business analytics?

To excel in a business analytics career one needs expertise in basic and advanced analytics skills. These skills include:

Basic skills: Excel, SQL, Statistics, Business management, and BI tools (Power BI or Tableau).

Advanced skills: Python, Machine learning, deep learning, no-code low code data science.

There are two options to learn business analytics. First way is to get a bachelors or masters degree which greatly helps in pursuing manager level job roles. The second way is a faster way out using which individuals from IT background can quickly shift to, or start a business analytics career in Pakistan. A series of short training programs can cover core business analytics concepts in just a few months, that too in an intuitive way. 

Dice Analytics’ 8-weeks, live course on Business Analytics covers basic skills of a business analyst job role. Further, in two more courses, advanced business analytics skills are taught in the data warehouse and data science course.

This enables an individual to become a skilled business analyst in as less as 6 months.

Difference between Business Analytics and Data Analytics

Both business analytics and data analytics have closely similar functions and some organizations might use the terms interchangeably. However there’s a primary difference that differentiates the work of a data analyst from that of a business analyst.

A data analyst collects, cleanses, organizes, transforms and visualizes data– they convert insights into actionable information, to empower business executives in making informed decisions. 

A business analyst would do the same, but they are the ones who are also responsible for using the data for making business decisions. Further, another core responsibility of a business analyst is to use data to look for new process improvements, find innovative opportunities and devise solutions for an organization.

Cover image by Pixabay.

Ayesha
Ayesha
I engineer the content and acquaint the science of analytics to empower rookies and professionals.
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Importance of Business Analytics in Pakistan: How data fuels business strategy?

Business analytics in Pakistan is the core of national strategy across various institutions. They use it for informing polio campaigns, crime policing, international trade, and arms manufacturing etc., Private telecommunication sector allegedly uses business analytics to run marketing operations, supply chain and service security. 

This article sheds light on seven examples of business analytics in Pakistan and answers how data fuels business strategy.

But let’s first understand, what exactly is business analytics? And its use in marketing, supply chain, resource planning, and customer relationship in organizations.

What is business analytics?

Business analytics combines multiple disciplines and technologies– such as statistics, business management and data analytics– to find answers to business questions. This is done via analysis of existing data and finding hidden patterns. These quickly derived patterns then act as knowledge for corporate executives to formulate strategies easier and faster. 

Though conventional business management also relied on insights from data, the ability of BA to systematically organize and analyze large amounts of data has been transformational in the development of competitive business strategies.

In one case, the end product of business analytics is a dashboard which is a visual representation of the summarized business data. At the backdoor of this dashboard lies an iterative, methodical process called data pipeline that covers a series of sequential steps such as data cleaning, transformation into optimal shape, data enrichment and data visualization. Advanced forms of BA include more complex analysis such as using machine learning and statistical modeling to perform business forecasting.

Business analytics is a continuous, ongoing process that offers real-time monitoring of instant data along with flexibility to voluntarily select data for reporting or strategy building. 

Examples: Examples of business analytics tools include: Excel, Power BI, KNIME analytics platform, Tableau, Qlick, and SQL (Teradata, Postgres etc). These tools offer an easy and intuitive set of features to perform business analytics tasks such as data cleaning, merging, organization, visualization, and statistical analysis.

Here’s a glimpse of what a business analytics dashboard looks like in Microsoft Excel.

A business analytics dashboard built on Excel presents a report on nation traders monthly performance/ Microsoft

Applications of Business Analytics- a few examples

Business analytics gracefully runs management applications such as marketing analytics, supply chain analytics, ERP– enterprise resource planning, and CRM– customer relationship management, by creating successful means that improve productivity, quality, and customer experience.  

1. Marketing Analytics

It is the application of business analytics on marketing data to drive marketing strategies. Such analytics empowers marketing executives to learn about individual customer interests thus obtaining an idea on advertising to these specific segments. The creation of such targeted content helps generate quality sales, improves customer retention and even identifies demand for a potential product. 

2. Supply Chain Analytics

When business analytics is applied on the supply chain data– that relates to procurement, processing and distribution of goods– it brings useful information that remarkably transforms the supply chain operations into lean and agile thereof. For example:

Greater visibility

When the whole supply chain is embedded on a BA system, every business department is involved in providing its input thereby creating a single source of truth. This enhances the data visibility, leading to effective control and decision making. With supply chain analytics there’s no hassle of siloed working and miscoordination of data. 

Enhanced operational efficiency

The day to day operations of the supply chain can significantly improve when planned with business analytics. As one of the examples from the vast supply activities, calculating optimal logistic routes for shipping and distribution significantly reduces fuel costs and time of arrival. 

Increase accuracy in planning

Supply chain analytics also serve for better selling. When a customer places an order, supply chain analysts can identify the potential next needs of the customer. This key supply chain analytics data can drive better marketing decisions.

Lean supply chain

A lean supply chain is efficient, produces zero waste and is robust to delays. When warehouse, supply partners, and customers are all brought on a BA platform, the derived information as a result creates an efficient, low loss, and always running supply chain. Managers know when to refill the warehouse, or when renegotiation is required with partners. They can also identify red flags when customer orders are not met in time.  

3. ERP– Enterprise Resource Planning

What: ERP technology allows businesses to automate and manage manual processes– such as loading information and forms, tracking receivables, creating sales orders, and emailing notices– to improve operational efficiency. As a result, ERP connects all departments– finance, accounting, marketing and sales, supply chain etc, and coordinates data between them.

ERP & BA: From one angle, ERP is all about digitizing the whole business process. The above digital generates a wealth of data that resides at a central ERP database. Business analytics draws on this useful data and suggests meaningful insights. Note that, the essence of the ERP system is that it brings a single source of truth– carrying cross-departmental information, for the BA system to proceed with. 

Advantage: It enables business executives to tease out high level tasks– such as financial planning, process improvements, employee programs– that translate to higher efficiency, cost savings, and better productivity.

4. CRM– Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management is an application of business analytics that solely exists for the purpose of analysis of customer data. It improves your ability  to see how well your service delivery and sales operations serve customer-facing business problems.

CRM drives three critical business processes– marketing, sales and customer service. This means, the technology would be used to find the data trends in; advertising (see marketing analytics), products sold, sales channels, customer acquisition, and after sale complaints. 

How data fuels business strategy?

A business strategy represents an organization’s high level goals, plan of action, and resource allocation. The examples in the previous section show how data on multiple processes could be collected, cleaned, organized, and analyzed to derive useful knowledge. This knowledge, derived from multiple sources, is highly accurate and has the potential to lead strategy formulation and tactical responses, saving executives with time and manual effort.

Importance of Business Analytics in Pakistan

Business analytics in Pakistan plays an ambitious role organizations empowering them to achieve strategic goals which otherwise take huge time and effort. Whether its polio eradication, crime policing or international trade, the technology has become integral in optimizing national operations and informing high level strategies. In the Pakistan private sector, organizations also leverage BA to improve the quality, service delivery, customer experience– and ultimately profitability.  

Following are seven examples of Pakistan industries utilizing business analytics.

Industry Problem statement Business Analytics solution

Police

With no hint of where to start, police use statistical analysis techniques on previous crime data to estimate the most likely crime hotspot. But such manual analysis of criminal records presents the challenge of huge time consumption and inaccuracy in results. Pakistan police uses crime analytics software that collects and organizes criminal records and processes it for producing spatio-temporal reports. Advanced analytics are used within the software to predict a potential crime hotspot. It even has the potential to formulate tactical responses based on previous examples of policing. 
Trade Lack of visibility from slow information administration creates chaotic port blockages that lead to wastage of hundreds of hours in shipment. The digital platform by Pakistan Customs- Pakistan Single Window, uses business analytics for real-time monitoring of trade inflows and outflows. This improves port status visibility at the Customs and offers the opportunity to plan for an optimal cargo processing.
Polio Application of traditional methods for tracking infants and toddlers in polio campaigns is extremely slow, and prone to errors. It becomes a huge challenge especially in the fifth largest population base on the planet. Pakistan’s polio eradication strategy puts business analytics at its core and uses its capabilities to reach every single child across the country. The BA platform is integrated with the population database at NADRA, and reports on children distribution across geographical regions.
Arms Within Pakistan, and across the globe, as humanity continuously faces threats from malicious characters, the fulfillment of the ensuing demand for top notch arms and ammunition has become a challenge.  Business analytics (or specifically supply chain analytics) has reduced the manufacturing time of Pakistan’s in-house production of arms and ammunition through identifying process improvements and supply chain overheads. 
Telecom With a gigantic subscriber base– more than 70 million, a fast, secure and customized service delivery becomes a challenge. Further, a massive 3000 geographically spread workforce presents another challenge in effective resource utilization. To solve these problems, the telecom company uses business analytics for optimized resource utilization and quality services. For example, using a real-time analytics dashboard, the network management team monitors the live status of network nodes and traffic information. Other advanced applications include usage of predictive analytics for detection of fraud groups, predicting traffic at a node, and driving targeted advertising for an impeccable customer experience. 
Land In Punjab, a digital land administration system becomes critical for the province’s financial stability as well as the country’s food security. Conventional land management is prone to slow manual processing, tiring human effort and lack of transparency– remains inadequate to resolve land disputes in time and verifying fair hand down of legacy. In Punjab, a CRM technology provides the necessary land management and uses business analytics seamlessly to power a simple, fast, and transparent land management system. Apart from digitizing land records and registrations, it uses analytics on this data to extract insights for process improvements, marketing and sales operations. This ultimately works to win trust of citizens thus evading disputes and financial instability as a result.
Equipment Mitigating crimes and tackling criminals requires clever use of digital technology to stay a step ahead of criminals. As an example use case, data analytics can find behavioral trends in data related to telecommunication, traveling, etc, as well as previous criminal records, to identify and locate perpetrators.

Pakistan’s radio and telecom equipment manufacturer made business analytics a core part of their products making police and law enforcers capable of finding and locating criminals. Examples of the BA functions include collecting and analyzing call detail records– CDR, taxation, traveling, airport arrival, bank, excise and internet. An enriched, centralized Criminal Record System houses a data warehouse and uses descriptive analytics to report spatio-temporal distribution of crime data.

Types of Business Analytics techniques

Now all these diverse applications of BA might make you overwhelmed with its number– how many BA applications could be achieved and in how many ways? 

Fortunately, there are only 4 types of business analytics techniques. Each type provides a distinctive value for the company and answers to business problems in 4 contexts. 

Hence, generally there are only 4 types of insights a BA tech can offer. 

Descriptive Analytics

One form of BA is descriptive analytics. It processes data to build reports and presents actionable insights for a business. It’s relatively simple to create, and uses low-level statistics such as data summarization. These summaries are built on historical data– which is the data of the past events, to answer business problems– such as ‘what happened?’. For example, what is the revenue per customer?, the year over year prices changes?, or month over month revenue?   

Diagnostic Analytics

It’s a business analytics type that uses slightly advanced statistics such as regression analysis to diagnose the problems a business faces. It answers questions such as ‘Why did something happen?’. For example, why have sales increased in the last 4 months? Why are customers leaving?, or why is the word of mouth negative? 

With diagnostic analytics, it literally becomes possible to find out the real reason behind any business scenario. It just requires historical data of a set of variables relevant to your business problem, and then using a regression algorithm to determine correlation among them. An example by Harvard Business School states the case of a US meal kit subscription company– Hellofresh, who wanted to know ‘Why their fish-based recipes sold higher over a period?’. The data analytics team thus performed diagnostic analytics over customer attribute variables such as Gender and Location variables, to find relationships with the Fish Sales variable. The regression result found that within the Gender and Location variables, the females living in the Northeastern US had a more liking for Fish thus generating higher sales. 

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is all about estimating the future business scenario. It uses advanced statistics such as regression analysis or classification analysis to power a set of business questions that ask: ‘What will likely happen in future?’. 

For example, the classification prediction model (or the analysis that outputs a discrete value) answers: Is the customer going to leave? Will a client buy a loan?. 

Whereas, the regression prediction model answers questions that require a continuous output value– How much will be the demand of this product in future? or How much revenue is expected for next quarter? etc,. 

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics empowers business professionals with a machine generated action plan that is based on business wisdom. This wisdom is set by veteran business strategists in the form of an algorithm that uses a series of if-else statements to derive a required course of action. 

The type of business questions such as ‘What can be done to induce a future scenario?’ are answered by prescriptive analytics. The machine parses through huge amounts of relevant data and takes guidance from the set requirements to come up with useful recommendations.

Benefits of Business Analytics

The most fascinating benefit of business analytics is that it can help find a logical answer to literally any business question. The only requirement is that the variables which the question translates to, should have numeric value and then using regression or any other statistical technique, one can determine a relationship between them.

More specifically, business analytics provides valuable benefits that empower corporate executives to for example: 

  • Navigate the business’ strategic direction with real-time monitoring of KPIs 
  • Perform financial planning and build business strategies with a centralized view of business
  • Predict employee turnover and access analytics driven reasons. 
  • Use prescriptive analytics to formulate employee retention programs (reward system and talent policies)
  • Gain insights on future market demand– plan new products or introduce changes to existing ones 
  • Estimate future orders and accordingly plan procurement and production 
  • Optimize supply chain processes based on a prescriptive analytics model
  • Discover insights on customer interests, demographics, and behavior, and create highly personalized advertising content 
  • Access new opportunities of selling further to a customer after they purchase

Scope of Business Analytics

Business analytics has huge scope for the next ten years as more and more businesses are adopting digital transformation. As per Gartner– a leading global market analyst, almost 75% of organizations will establish a centralized data and analytics center by 2024, with the core purpose of supporting data initiatives and enterprise process optimization.

Organizations will require talented business analytics professionals to successfully drive data and analytics initiatives. For example, Gartner alerts businesses predicting 80% will fail through 2025, if they don’t adopt modern data governance measures. Building on this, Gartner sheds light that limited companies (only 30%) will be focused on dedicatedly investing in data governance initiatives.

These insights by Gartner encourage organizations that embark on digital transformation, to have a profound data and analytics mechanism that is run by talented business analysts who can successfully navigate through the competitive business scape. 

Career in Business Analytics

When talking about specific business analytics job roles, the demand for some roles is more than the others. There are a total of 12 business analytics job titles one can pursue as per their interest.

  • Data analytics specialist
  • Data engineer
  • BI developer
  • Data architect
  • Business process analyst
  • Fraud analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Marketing analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Retail and sales analyst
  • Analytics and insights manager

How to excel in business analytics?

To excel in a business analytics career one needs expertise in basic and advanced analytics skills. These skills include:

Basic skills: Excel, SQL, Statistics, Business management, and BI tools (Power BI or Tableau).

Advanced skills: Python, Machine learning, deep learning, no-code low code data science.

There are two options to learn business analytics. First way is to get a bachelors or masters degree which greatly helps in pursuing manager level job roles. The second way is a faster way out using which individuals from IT background can quickly shift to, or start a business analytics career in Pakistan. A series of short training programs can cover core business analytics concepts in just a few months, that too in an intuitive way. 

Dice Analytics’ 8-weeks, live course on Business Analytics covers basic skills of a business analyst job role. Further, in two more courses, advanced business analytics skills are taught in the data warehouse and data science course.

This enables an individual to become a skilled business analyst in as less as 6 months.

Difference between Business Analytics and Data Analytics

Both business analytics and data analytics have closely similar functions and some organizations might use the terms interchangeably. However there’s a primary difference that differentiates the work of a data analyst from that of a business analyst.

A data analyst collects, cleanses, organizes, transforms and visualizes data– they convert insights into actionable information, to empower business executives in making informed decisions. 

A business analyst would do the same, but they are the ones who are also responsible for using the data for making business decisions. Further, another core responsibility of a business analyst is to use data to look for new process improvements, find innovative opportunities and devise solutions for an organization.

Cover image by Pixabay.

Ayesha
Ayesha
I engineer the content and acquaint the science of analytics to empower rookies and professionals.
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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