• Business analytics has moved from the sidelines to the forefront
  • AI-based technology has revolutionized the field
  • Real-world examples of BA success.

Gone are the days when a BA’s  role was as a requirements note taker [1], or  when data interpretation was the responsibility of a small team of programmers.  In the last ten years, Business analytics has grown from a simple description of predictive and statistical tools to an umbrella term covering a complex spectrum of business intelligence and analytics. BA combines applications, skills, technologies, and processes to provide data-based insights for businesses. Big data is leveraged along with statistics to develop markets, evaluate customer behavior and optimize revenue streams.

A new generation of  AI-based BI tools have resulted in sweeping changes to the entire data analytics process, enabling the creation of actionable insights from complex data. Companies that implement AI are certain to edge ahead of their competitors, improving performance and generating higher revenue.[2]

Where Business Analytics is Booming

Industries that are at the forefront of the business analytics revolution include:

  • Banking and Finance: Analytics aids in the detection of fraud, evaluation of credit risk and prediction of delinquency. For example, Mastercard business analysts built a cross-border ATM Fraud Rules Engine that resulted in a 65% Decrease in ATM Fraud [3].
  • Customer service: BA can help to reduce churn rate (customer loss) by using big data to route calls, maintain adequate staffing levels, and catch issues early on in the customer service process. One notable success was seen by broadband communications, services and solutions provider XO Communications, who reduced churn rates by almost 50 percent with the assistance of IBM predictive analytics software [4].
  • Education: Data can be analyzed to predict student outcomes, analyze deficiencies in student learning and create a plan for improvement. Intervention can happen earlier, before a student has fallen too far behind [5]. For example, The University of Wolverhampton partnered with student software and services provider Tribal to develop learning analytics software. The tool predicts student success with 70 percent accuracy [6].
  • Farming: BA can help farmers boost yields, manage pests and crop diseases and limit pesticide use while maximizing per-acre production. For example, WinField United, the Land O’ Lakes seed and crop-protection division analyzes millions of data points from diverse sources to assist farmers with their goals [7].
  • Healthcare: Analytics can benefit patients by assessing risks and suggesting preventative care measures. It can also be used to maintain adequate staffing levels and track trends in a wide variety of areas including new technology, procedures to improve outcomes, or tracking of disease outbreaks. Electronic Health Records, which capture condition-specific information like clinical orders, clinical findings and laboratory results, have become a primary sources of information on the health and well-being of patients [8].
  • Marketing: BA can help to predict sales, maintain a budget, and analyze consumer behavior. Trends in consumer loyalty can be tracked, with different brand messages analyzed for effectiveness. As an example, behavioral targeting collects data on consumer browsing activities by placing digital tags in browsers. These tags track and aggregate consumer behavior, resulting in the serving of more relevant advertising [9].
  • Sports: Sports BA is booming, enabling sports business professionals strategize, promote a company’s financial performance, and maintain or improve a competitive advantage [10]. Business analytics has been used in Major League Baseball to show that starting pitchers lose effectiveness when they cycle through the batting lineup. This has resulted in a big increase in relief pitchers [11].

These are just a few examples to highlight the growing trends. As the science of business analytics continues to grow, it is on track to become  “the world’s hottest market for advanced skills” [12].  As more and more businesses incorporate advanced data techniques and gain a competitive edge, the market for business analysis will continue to soar.



Image: Author

[1] The Future of Business Analysis

[2] From Business Intelligence to Artificial Intelligence

[3] Business Analytics for Data Science

[4] XO Communications reduces customer churn rate by 50% using IBM Business Analytics.

[5] The Future of Business Analytics

[6] Learning from Data to Improve Student Outcomes

[7] Using Analytic to Improve Customer Engagement

[8] Applications of Business Analytics in Healthcare

[9] Behavioral Targeting: A Case Study of Consumer Tracking on Levis.com

[10]  Application of Business Analysis in Sports Business

[11] Madden: Hey, Rob Manfred! The analytic geeks are ruining starting pitching and it’s making a joke of the game

[12] Mobilizing Your C Suite For Big Data Analytics


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