Historically, data analysis was a lot of looking backwards. What happened, and what does it mean? That way of doing things is literally history. With the amount of data now available to the modern business, analysis is all about looking forward. What can we expect, and how can we get ahead? Enter Predictive Analytics.
There are a number of wonderful definitions out there for Predictive Analytics—some are more technical, some are comparatively plain-spoken. Here are good examples of each:
“Predictive analytics describes any approach to data mining with four attributes:
- An emphasis on prediction (rather than description, classification or clustering)
- Rapid analysis measured in hours or days (rather than the stereotypical months of traditional data mining)
- An emphasis on the business relevance of the resulting insights (no ivory tower analyses)
- (increasingly) An emphasis on ease of use, thus making the tools accessible to business users.
“Predictive Analytics is the art and science of using data to make better informed decisions. Predictive analytics helps you uncover hidden patterns and relationships in your data that can help you predict with greater confidence what may happen in the future, and provide you with valuable, actionable insights for your organization.”
More and more companies are incorporating Predictive Analytics into their data strategies. Current research from MarketsandMarkets “predicts the global predictive analytics market to grow from USD 2.74 Billion in 2015 to USD 9.20 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.4%.” New research from TDWI Research identifies the top five reasons why companies are looking to use Predictive Analytics:
- predict trends
- understand customers
- improve business performance
- drive strategic decision-making
- predict behavior
The appeal of Predictive Analytics is very clear, and the ability to produce this kind of actionable, forward-looking analysis is rapidly becoming a key point of distinction for brands looking to stay ahead of their competitors. But, these new approaches bring up a key reality—effective data analysis today requires two things: tools, and those who know how to use them. Enter the Udacity Business Analyst Nanodegree program.
The Udacity Business Analysts Nanodegree Program
There are a growing number of outstanding tools out there that enable businesses to incorporate Predictive Analytics. Alteryx, one of our partners for this Nanodegree program, is a leading provider. We love their solution for many reasons, but especially for the fact that no programming experience is required to use their tools:
To get ahead of the competition and improve the bottom line, organizations need to understand what is going to happen in the future in order to be more prepared and more profitable. Predictive analytics allows organizations to gain this edge by analyzing current and historical data, to better understand and predict future events, improving business outcomes through more accurate decisions.
Unfortunately, most predictive analytic tools are complex, time-consuming, and require coding or expertise in data science and statistics. Alteryx removes the complexity of predictive analytics for analysts by eliminating the need for coding, and empowers both analysts and data scientists alike to take charge of the entire predictive analytics cycle.
We built the Business Analyst Nanodegree program to help you achieve two objectives:
- You’ll master the foundational skills necessary to succeed in any role that involves making effective data-driven decisions in a business context.
- You’ll build fluency in two software packages: Alteryx, a tool that enables analysts to prepare, blend, and analyze data quickly; and Tableau, a powerful data visualization tool.
This program will officially launch in the Fall of 2016, but if you’re attending the Alteryx Inspire 2016 conference June 6-9, you’ll likely hear a great deal about it while you’re there, because Alteryx Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dean Stoecker will be highlighting the Business Analyst Nanodegree program in his keynote speech! (p.s. calling all Moneyball fans, Paul DePodesta will also be giving a keynote speech!)
Why Take The Udacity Business Analyst Nanodegree Program?
To answer this question, we ask you to recall two things we noted above. First, Predictive Analytics is hot. The market is growing, and more and more businesses are lining up. Second, great tools require great users. So it follows that as demand for the tools grows, so too does demand for those who can use the tools effectively and successfully.
That’s where you—as a graduate of the Business Analyst Nanodegree program—come in. With the skills you’ll master, and the software fluency you’ll display, you’ll be ready to bring IMMEDIATE value to any organization you choose to work for, from implementing a software solution like Alteryx or Tableau, to producing actionable predictive data that dramatically improves future business outcomes.
Want to be first in line for the launch? Sign up here to be notified!