Analytics is the process of applying computational procedures to data sets in order to reveal answers to strategically important questions. The information produced by analytics can also monitor trends, minimize risks, reveal insights, and offer other opportunities that weren't apparent beforehand.
Conducting analytics is a time-intensive process. After data sets are gathered and manipulated to create consistency, computational procedures are applied to the data. The results are then assessed according to typical steps in the 'analytics lifecycle.' The analytics lifecycle diagram provided on this page shows SAS's® approach. The diagram identifies the particular steps in their process as well as the four kinds of people ('ace' roles) they believe play a key part in each step.
The desired goals of applying analytics to data are to: