Analytics has become one of those ubiquitous words that has a unique significance and meaning to each individual.
Industry analyst firms have done a great job creating a simple framework to characterize — at a high level — four classifications of analytics and the range of human effort required to make a decision, modify a process or improve an outcome.
These four classifications from lowest to highest level of complexity are:
- Descriptive (what happened)
- Diagnostic (why it happened)
- Predictive (what will happen)
- Prescriptive (what should I do)
The challenge that remains is to apply this framework at a level of granularity that facilitates practical solutions about where and how analytics can be applied in the real world to solve real problems.