It isn’t news that we are living in a data-driven world. And the pace at which data flows into our daily lives increases in such a way that makes it impossible to keep on top of it all.

When running a business, you collect a lot of past actual data in some format to use for various future forecast and budget activities.

Adding weather analytics to your company’s BI platform can help you find ways to reduce wasteful spending, increase ROI, optimize logistics, fine-tune marketing campaigns, improve resource planning, and so much more.

Simply put, “analytics” is turning your collected data into insights to know, for example, when to order supplies or help determine how many employees to have on a particular shift.

Analytics is changing everything from businesses and sports to government and healthcare.

Here’s a helpful definition from Wikipedia:
Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming, and operations research to quantify performance. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight.

By tracking several different types of data from past actual activity, you can apply formulas to that data (through software such as Microsoft Excel, or platforms such as Domo, Tableau, and Qlik) to gain insights that inform decisions to help you predict future activity and performance.

Sports analytics have been used for years. It’s where data, such as averages, performances, and tendencies of individual players have been recorded and shared out as statistics by player, by team, by league, and so on.

If you run a retail business, you have an understanding of the importance of price points with your competitors. You collect certain types of data and analyze it in a way that helps you remain in business.

In the healthcare field, medical professionals use analytics to gain direct access to data that can help improve performance and deliver better patient care.

In your own personal world, your smartphone is constantly tracking your location and how fast you are traveling. Fitness bands track your heart rate, number of steps taken, number of calories burned, and even how well you sleep. Data is collected and processed, and you use the analytic output to determine how much farther you want to go, how to choose better foods to eat, and how to improve the quality of your sleep.

Analytics is a way to improve your business (or your life) through knowledge gained from experience and past performance; it gives you the ability to understand data in a meaningful and new way.

The companies that use analytics to make insightful decisions are the companies that are moving ahead of their competitors. Isn’t that what you want to be doing?