A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Analytics Versus Statistics

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I was reading an article in the CIO magazine (Sep 15, 2011) “Using Analytics to Make Social Media Profitable” by Stephanie Overby.  She described how analytics was used to boost revenues by forecasting the impact of promotions and assessing individuals social graph to predict and personalize targeted promotions.  While the specifics of the analytics was not given, I began to wonder how loosely the term analytics are used.  In the context above, it was not very clear whether the prediction was based on statistics or analytics.  The difference is that statistics refer to analysis of past data whereas analytics is a measure that gives a “sense of direction”.  Analytics can use statistical parameters such as estimation or statistical correlation; however the analytic goes beyond statistics.  It gives a “degree of proximity” to a targeted goal to enable “intelligent” decision making.  Well-designed analytics provide for integrated intelligence to manage resources efficiently, manage project/product portfolios, manage risk appropriately, and facilitate alignment of these entities to business needs.

Written by Subbu Murthy

October 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

Posted in Analytics

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