What is the difference between Data Analysis and Data Analytics?
This is a question that confuses a lot of people, including me. Everybody has a different definition of Data Analysis and Data Analytics. At times, Data Analysis dominates, at times, Data Analytics dominates. Everybody has their own opinions and definitions. So how do I determine which is the correct definition? The best way to do this is to find the meaning using the dictionary. And here is what I found.
Data Analysis has 6 meaning, of which 2 are more relevant in our discussion here.
Meaning 1: the separating of any material or abstract entity into its constituent elements (opposed to synthesis).
Meaning 2: The process of studying the nature of something or of determining its essential features and their relations.
Data Analytics has 3 different meanings.
Meaning 1: The science of logical analysis, which I intepret as the principles behind data analysis
Meaning 2: The analysis of large set of data using mathematics, statistics and computer software. The most common example here would be regression analysis or the normal distribution (commonly known as the bell curve)
Meaning 3: The result of data analysis, indicators, benchmarks.
Looking at all the meanings, I would summarise the difference between Data Analysis and Data Analytics in the context of business as follows:
Data Analysis is the process of analyzing business data to determine its essential features, for example, analysing sales data to determine whether the sales increase is due to price and/or quantity.
Data Analytics is the outcome of the data analysis, pesenting the results of the sales analysis, which are changes in price and change in quantity.
To perform data analysis, some tools are required. There are many out there in the market, mostly subscription-based tools and softwares. I use Microsoft Excel, which can be subscription-based (if you are using Office 365) or one-time payment (if you buy a retail box). Whichever version of Excel you choose, Excel is still the most common software in the market. And it has great data analysis capabilities, if you explore deeper.
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