Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data; and the process of applying those patterns towards effective decision making. In other words, analytics can be understood as the connective tissue between data and effective decision making, within an organization. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance.
Organizations may apply analytics to business data to describe, predict, and improve business performance. Specifically, areas within analytics include predictive, prescriptive, enterprise decision management, descriptive, and cognitive 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.