Data is a powerful tool that’s available to organizations at a staggering scale.Data analytics is the practice of examining data to answer questions, identify trends, and extract insights. You can use tools, frameworks, and software to analyze data, such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power BI. These various types of tools can help you examine data from different angles and create visualizations to help better understand the data.

To get the greatest insight from your data, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the four key types of data analytics: 

  1. Descriptive Analytics: What happened? This type of analytics is the foundation for the others, and quite simple. It allows you to pull trends from raw data and succinctly describe what happened or is currently happening. 
  2. Diagnostic Analytics: Why did this happen? Taking analysis a step further, this type includes comparing coexisting trends or movement, uncovering correlations between variables, and determining causal connections. 
  3. Predictive Analytics: What might happen in the future? By analyzing historical data with industry trends, you can make informed predictions about what the future could hold for your company. 
  4. Prescriptive Analytics: What should we do next? Useful for data-driven decisions, this type of analytics considers all possible factors in a scenario and suggests actionable takeaways. 

Depending on what specific business problem you are trying to solve, a combination of a few of these analytics could be the answer. You can use them all in sequential order to gain the deepest understanding of the story data tells. There is not one right answer that is right for every business. 

Has your business started using data analytics? The benefits it can provide your business is worth the time it will take your business to explore. Need help? 2W Tech is a technology solutions provider specializing in solutions for the manufacturing industry. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner with IT Consultants on staff that can introduce your team to Microsoft Power BI and other types of data analytics tools. 

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