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# What is Analytics?

Article Details
• Written By: Jason C. Chavis
• Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
2003-2018
Conjecture Corporation

 April 25 ,  1983 :  USSR leader Yuri Andropov wrote to Samantha Smith, an American grade schooler.  more...
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The purpose of analytics is to take existing data collected from either a single source or multiple sources and use it to arrive at the optimal decision. Essentially, analytics can be best defined as a science of analysis. This is most commonly used in situations where realistic judgments are necessary. Past experiences collected and rule of thumb concepts can be added to the data to create a qualitative aspect of decision making. However, without adequate data sources culled from various factors of real information, the determination cannot be said to be made with the concept of analytics.

Commonly, one of the most frequent uses of analytics is in the field of business. Managers or researchers for an analytics company can use various data mining techniques combined with historical patterns to make predictions about the performance of a particular market or business. This is usually done in an effort to improve an already existing model of operations. Mathematics are highly important, with determinations being made through graphs or sheer numbers.

Statistical probability and operational research are two common forms of strategy analytics. This helps determine the long term frequency of an event or the proportion of which the event occurs, even within a large population or sample base. Modeling and the analysis of algorithms help to find the concepts of maxima and minima. Maxima is a definition for the ultimate yield or profit of a particular objective function, while minima defines the level of loss or risk. The entire process should use the scientific method.

Web analytics defines the collection, measurement and reporting of data from the Internet. Optimization and understanding of web usage is handled in two different ways: off-site and on-site analysis. Off-site analysis measures the potential of a particular concept within the Internet. For example, if a person has an idea for a website, off-site analysis will provide the researcher with information about the viability of the concept. On-site analysis determines the usage parameters and overall experience of a person actually online in the form of such details as keyword success or actionable links.

Another utilization of analytics is in the banking and financial sector, specifically in regards to a person's investments. Portfolios under management by a business or institution use various aspects of data collection to find the appropriate mix of finances for an individual or company. Balances, risks, income and expenditures can all be processed to determine the best way and time frame for the portfolio.