Blog: What do you mean by "analytics"?

By Greg Gorbach, for ARC Advisory Group

Sep 07, 2016

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Analytics is a hot topic. It’s the key to becoming data driven. It powers the IIoT and I4.0. It is the secret sauce behind predictive maintenance and predictive operations software. But almost without fail, every discussion about using analytics gets bogged down because of confusion about what is meant by analytics.

A lot has changed in the field of analytics, there is a fair amount of complexity to sort out, and the technologies, as well as the potential applications, have morphed quite a bit over time. Here I touch upon some of the factors that have led to the confusion:

  • Explosion of machine learning, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing
  • Proliferation of specialist analytics technologies suppliers
  • Terminology: “analytics” usage is evolving
  • Imprecise marketing by suppliers
  • Market buzz around big data, APM, PdM, IIoT, and digital transformation
  • Conventional analytics and BI solutions
  • Historians and manufacturing intelligence solutions
  • Data scientists vs. decision makers vs. business process automation
  • Cloud platforms

Read more about each topic.


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