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.