Descriptive analytics is the conventional form of business intelligence and data analysis. It seeks to provide a depiction or summary view of facts and figures in an understandable format. DATAVERSITY brought this topic to our attention in their article, “Fundamentals of Descriptive Analytics.”

Descriptive analytics uses two primary techniques, data aggregation and data mining, to report past events, presenting them in an easily digestible format for the benefit of a wide business audience. A common example is a company report that simply provides a historic review of an organization’s operations, sales, financials, customers, and stakeholders.

In the world of big data, this easily digested data provided by descriptive analytics is the precursor for more advanced predictive analytics that deliver real-time insights for business decision making.

As data-driven businesses continue to use the results from descriptive analytics to enhance their decision-making powers, data analytics will move further away from predictive analytics toward prescriptive analytics or a mash-up. The future lies in not only describing what has happened, but in accurately predicting what might happen in the future.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.