The real differences between descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics
By Alben Ngo, Senior Director Business Intelligence, Graebel
For many of today’s mobility leaders, improving their mobility programs and building their strategies are top-of-mind issues that never go away. Just like in many other industries around the world, they turn to leading-edge technologies that can help enable better action and decision-making—thus garnering a lot of interest in data analytics.
We see it all the time. And usually, as they’re just starting to explore how data analytics technology can benefit their business, we consistently hear mobility professionals asking one of two questions:
- “Isn’t analytics just a buzzword?”
- “I need analytics—especially predictive analytics—but I can’t really articulate what I need it for, right?”
If that sounds familiar, we can assure you that you’re not alone.
Off the top, we can discount the first question. We’ve all seen the strong impact of data-driven decisions and analytics on many industries in recent years. But the second question is much more revealing about one of the incorrect analytics assumptions many mobility professionals make as they begin the process.
What you need is based on where you are
There are two important factors to consider when choosing the right approach. The first one is the state of your data, which is a key consideration because it determines the potential analyses that you can conduct. And the second is the specific goals you have for your business—your “why”—which dictate what type of approach your business needs.
There are three types of data analytics approaches that you may explore: descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.
Analytics aren’t only about answers
At the end of the day, the right analytics solutions provider is the one who understands that the place to start is knowing where to start. They don’t just provide answers. They’re the ones who know which questions to ask so that they can help you determine which type of solution fits your business and will enable you to meet your intended purpose.