Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight.
Firms may commonly apply analytics to business data, to describe, predict, and improve business performance. Specifically, arenas within analytics include enterprise decision management, retail analytics, store assortment and stock-keeping unit optimization, marketing optimization and marketing mix analytics, web analytics, sales force sizing and optimization, price and promotion modeling, predictive science, credit risk analysis, and fraud analytics. Since analytics can require extensive computation (See Big Data), the algorithms and software used for analytics harness the most current methods in computer science, statistics, and mathematics.