Data analytics provides business leaders with the visibility they need to engage every facet of their organization. Once only available to enterprise-level organizations, modern analytics tools are scalable, user-friendly, and accessible to all who have the knowledge to leverage them. And this access is empowering businesses of all sizes to be more proactive than reactive in their planning and decision-making processes.
As you work through your online MBA program, you can remain up to date with the technological advances that are changing how every industry operates.
Cloud data analytics
Hosted offerings are both scalable and easy to use, which can provide more economical options for businesses. As more companies offer their services in the cloud, it’s inevitable that they will move their data there as well, according to ComputerWorld.
Examples of technologies that are available for processing data in the cloud include Amazon’s Redshift (hosted BI data warehouse and Kinesis data processing service), Google’s BigQuery data analytics service, and IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform
With big data, analysts not only have larger pools of data to work with, but also the processing power to manage larger numbers of records. ComputerWorld highlights that where machine learning previously used statistical analysis based on a sample of a total data set, the ability to process larger numbers of records and numbers of attributes per record results in enhanced predictability. This allows analysts to extract and explore behavioral data in real time.
Examples of predictive analytics exist in our everyday lives, without many of us knowing the full scope. For example, the “suggested items” list that appears in online shopping carts is created with data analytics culled from previous viewing or shopping habits and used to anticipate consumer trends. The same can be said for targeted advertising on social media sites. In this case, previous habits can be used to predict future actions — not always with 100% accuracy, but with enough certainty that corporations are willing to roll the dice on a practice which is now a multimillion-dollar global enterprise.
Social media is the world’s largest pool for market research. Much of its value comes from what people are sharing and how they express their preferences, but what was once quantified by likes, shares, retweets, and follows has evolved into brands being able to identify what people are thinking and feeling, what works from a marketing perspective, and how best to engage with your audience. This real-time, user-generated data can prove valuable for market research, gauging brand health, campaign optimization, and measuring client satisfaction.
Technology imitating life
One of the cornerstones of computer science involves the intersection of social mores and unconscious bias in the virtual landscape. In a report from the Guardian, AI-based computer programs exhibited a trend of labeling African American inmates as more likely to become repeat offenders at a rate double that of white inmates.
This was on the heels of a Microsoft chatbot, dubbed “Tay,” which sought to engage in human conversation based upon tweets and direct messaging. However, the software utility began to use expletives, epithets, and other forms of disparaging language which unfairly targeted individuals based on race, faith, and gender.
As social justice and responsibility gain prominence in a globally connected society, it’s important to understand the impact our interactions can have. Through data analytics, businesses and organizations have laser-focused insight toward what the consumer wants and expects — often before we can consciously quantify such needs.
The process of extracting online data analytics is essential for optimizing the user experience to increase engagement, conversion, and sales. As App Data Room mentions, there are many tools, such as Google Analytics, that can dive deeply into your website and measure or report on user behavior and engagement to create customer segments.
With these and other exciting emerging trends in big data and analytics, businesses and organizations require not only the conditions that will allow their analysts to experiment, but also the talent to apply the results to real-world problems.
Maryville University has designed its online MBA program to help cultivate and develop strong leadership in business analytics, including a specialization in information technology. The program empowers students with the technical skills needed to collect and analyze data, as well as the business skills to translate it into the intelligence that could potentially give you and your organization a competitive advantage.