What is Analytics?
Analytics is the process of using data relationships and computer models to drive organizational value, improve decision making, and understand human relationships.
Prescriptive analytics focuses on trends using simulation and optimization, while predictive analytics uses statistical tools to predict the future, and descriptive analytics is concerned with enabling smart decisions based on data.
See examples on the Northwestern MSiA page: Analytics Examples
Check out Gapminder by Hans Rosling: www.gapminder.org- 200 countries, 200 Years is a very cool way to spend 4 Minutes!!
Some great reads on analytics:
Volunteer Engagement in the Age of Analytics
Recently, MSiA student Andy Fox and IEMS undergraduate Tessa Swanson received second place in the INFORMS Doing Good with Good OR Student Paper Competition. The team also included Professor Smilowitz, and Jim McGowan of the American Red Cross, Greater Chicago Region, all of whom began work on the project in summer of 2013. After a year of research and analysis, the team presented their paper, Volunteer Engagement in the Age of Analytics: A Case Study with American Red Cross, Greater Chicago Region, at the INFORMS conference in San Francisco.