How is analytics like magic?


Are you uncomfortable with analytics? Do you know someone who is? One reason might be that they think of predictive analytics as magic rather than science or fact based.

Good magic amazes people and so do good analytic based reports and decisions.   Being able to predict what product or service a customer will want to buy next with 80 percent confidence really is amazing.   So too is helping to keep oil rigs producing the right amount of oil to meet the correct level of demand by performing the right maintenance on the right equipment prior to a breakdown. (See SAS Predictive Asset Maintenance for more information on this kind of magic.)

When you are the magician, however, or when you learn how to perform a magic trick, you understand it and realize it isn't really magic at all. It is the power of knowledge or should I say, The Power to Know™ :).   

Likewise analytics isn't magic. But - like magic - analytics is powerful especially in solving a variety of problems and for making better decisions across an array of departments and industries.

Now that I think about, it that really does sound like magic to me!  Just like a magician who knows the secrets to magic tricks, a data scientist or analyst knows the science behind applying mathematical formulas to data. These formulas reveal hidden patterns and relationships in the data, which allow them to more accurately "predict" the future instead of just reporting on what has happened in the past.  Just like magic, analytics can be taught or learned, but unlike some magic, analytics is not an illusion!

To see some real analyitcs magic, check out SAS High-Performance Analytics. In particular, SAS In-Memory Analytics and SAS Visual Analytics can operate on billions of rows of data and produce analytic insight instantly.

Photo by Syed Abdul Khaliq // licensed by cc


About Author

David Pope

Technical Leader, Senior Manager US Energy

David leads the pre-sales technical team for SAS US Energy which solves business problems in the Oil & Gas and Utilities industries using advanced analytics. He is a lifetime learner who enjoys sharing information and helping others to grow their careers. He earned a BS in Industry Engineering and a Computer Programming Certificate from North Carolina State University. Furthermore, he has over 29 years of business experience working with SAS across R&D, IT, Sales and Marketing in the Americas and Europe. He is an expert in working with data and producing insights through the use of analytics. David has presented at SAS Global Forum, the 2012 SAS Government Leadership Summit, IBM’s Information on Demand(IOD), EMC World, CTO Summit Conferences, is the author of the book: "Big Data Analytics with SAS", and he currently holds 14 patents for SAS in several countries: US, CA, Norway, UK, China, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top