What You Need to Know About Big Data Analytics
August 10, 2017
Big data is considered “the new oil” because of its tremendous value and its ability to reveal insights once mined and refined, but unlike oil, data is readily available to any company willing to access it. It is being generated constantly from both internal and external sources. Collecting and analyzing all this data requires big data analytics.
What is big data analytics?
Big data analytics is the process of using software to turn massive amounts of data into actionable insight. The volume, variety, and velocity of data generated each day has made traditional analysis – using spreadsheets, for example – obsolete. You cannot manually aggregate and analyze so much data fast enough to gain insight and turn that insight into action.
There are four categories of big data analytics:
- Descriptive analytics answers the question, “what happened?” This is the most basic form of big data analytics, and provides a picture of past events.
- Diagnostic analytics answers the question, “why did it happen?” Diagnostic analytics enables you to perform root cause analysis and use that information to prevent future repetition of events.
- Predictive analytics answers the question, “what will happen?” Predictive analytics uses advanced algorithms – often with artificial intelligence and machine learning – to forecast future events.
- Prescriptive analytics answers the question, “what should I do?” Prescriptive analytics tells you what the best steps are to achieve a specific result. Prescriptive analytics requires advanced machine learning capabilities.
Why do you need big data analytics?
There are several good reasons to invest in big data analytics.
1. Markets are constantly changing, and you need to keep up. Assuming that last month’s decisions remain the best decisions today only works if markets are static. Having an automated process to develop good, evidence-based decisions is the only way to navigate fast-changing markets.
2. The amount data generated every day is staggering, and new sources of data are constantly developing. You need big data analytics designed to handle the flood of data from drone surveys, the Internet of Things, social media, real-time market feeds, and more. It’s impossible to manage all this data with traditional systems like spreadsheets.
3. All the data you need to make good decisions resides in many different places. You need to collect structured and unstructured data from internal and external sources. Big data analytics gathers all the data you need in one place, from weather patterns and shipping routes to market prices and global economics. It gives you the power to make business decisions based on the complete picture.
4. You can ask questions that you didn’t even know you needed to ask. Modern analytics systems are designed to find the ‘unknown unknowns’ in your business. Previous systems could only really respond to questions they had been programmed to answer – the known unknown. With advanced analytics systems you can continue to drill down, ask more questions in real-time, and dig deeper into the data to get the insight you need.
Big data analytics provides the insight you need to make better decisions faster. Data comes in all shapes and sizes, from drones measuring crop height weekly to hourly weather reports and instant social media comments. You need powerful analytics to collect, integrate, and analyze this data so you can stay on top of fast-moving markets and ahead of your competition. Eka Analytics provides real-time, self-service analytics to enable you to make better decisions, increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.