Friday, December 17, 2010

Defining Analytics

This should probably be a tweet, except I've so far resisted the temptation to be involved with something that would associate my name with any conjugation of "twit".  As noted by Mike Trick and others, "analytics" is catching on as the new buzzword for ... well, something, and likely something strongly related if not identical to operations research.  So now we need a definition of "analytics".  A recent article by four reasonably senior people at IBM (appropriately, in the Analytics  webzine) attempts to give a fairly inclusive definition, incorporating three major categories: description; prediction; and prescription.  Hopefully this, or something like it, will catch on, lest "analytics" be equated to statistical data dredging and/or the study of sheep entrails.

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