Broadly speaking all Business Analytics serves one of two goals: decision support or decision automation. One way to idealise these is as either reports (decision support) or algorithms (decision automation).
Algorithms reduce the need for humans to think. Picture the in-database credit scoring function embedded deep in your bank’s systems and firing thousands of times an hour. This kind of decision automation (or decision replacement) is a common operational analytics endpoint.
Reports, on the other hand, make decisions more difficult. The simplest decision support system is a coin toss, but a business relying only on heads and tails will not survive for long. Real decision support adds ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty, and necessitates human judgement. This makes decisions harder, not easier.
About usAnalyst First is a new approach to analytics, where tools take a far less important place than the people who perform, manage, request and envision analytics, while analytics is seen as a non-repetitive, exploratory and creative process where the outcome is not known at the start, and only a fraction of efforts are expected to result in success. This is in contrast with a common perception of analytics as IT and process.
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