The main goal of Advanced Analytics is to help organizations make smarter decisions for better business outcomes.
Only a few years ago, Advanced Analytics was based almost entirely on a complex tool chain and plenty of scripting in Gnuplot, Python and R. Today, Tableau enables us to analyze our data at the speed of thought, to connect to our data sources in seconds, to add dimensions and measures on the canvas by dragging and dropping, and to get insights faster than ever before.
However, R still comes in very handy when we want to enrich Tableau’s Visual Analytics approach with advanced features that enables us to ask questions along the entire Analytics stack:
- Descriptive Analytics describes what happened, characterized by traditional business intelligence (BI). E.g. visualizations and dashboards to show profit per store, per product segment, or per region.
Diagnostic Analytics, which is also known as Business Analytics, looks into why something is happening, and is characterized by reports to further “slice and dice” and drill-down data. It answers the questions raised by Descriptive Analytics, such as why did sales go down in a particular region.
Predictive analytics determines what might happen in future (“What might happen?”), and needs larger domain expertise and tool set (i.e. Tableau + R). E.g. regression analysis, and forecasting which product segments are likely to perform better in next quarter.
Prescriptive Analytics identifies the actions required in order to influence particular outcome (“What should I do?”). E.g. portfolio optimization, and recommendation engines to answer which customer segment shall be targeted next quarter to improve profitability.
Semantic Analytics examines data or content to identify the meaning (“What does it mean?”), and suggests what you are looking for and provides a richer response. E.g. sentiment analysis and Latent Semantic Indexing to understand social media streams.
Do you want to learn more about Advanced Analytics and how to leverage Tableau with R? Meet me at the Tableau Conference in Munich (5-7 July) where I deliver the session “R You Ready For Advanced Analytics”.
— Alexander Loth (@xlth) July 6, 2016