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The difference between Analytics and Reporting

Businesses sometimes use these terms interchangeably … they are wrong.Reporting has been around for ages. Be it balance sheets projecting a company’s cash flow, spreadsheets laying out customer retention per quarter, monthly & quarterly sales etc, businesses are very used to the concept of reporting. The advent of technology has helped speed things up and the means of delivery have changed, but what gets reported hasn’t really changed a whole lot.Analytics, on the other hand, is the ability to identify patterns in the data. It is the process of drilling down into data, slicing and dicing it for systematic computational analysis and getting statistics. Reporting is a pre-requisite to analytics.The table below gives some points of comparison on how these two terms differ from each other in a typical business. 
ReportingAnalytics
Organize data into summaries to monitor various aspects of a businessExplore data to identify patterns and gain insights to improve business
Convert data into informationConvert information into insights
Raise questions about the businessProvide answers to the questions
Report what is happeningUnderstand why it is happening
Data is pushed out based on pre-defined KPIs and triggersData is pulled to slice and dice based on questions being asked
 

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