Data Analytics vs Business Analytics

We have so many new data related terms being thrown around that many are confused about the true meanings and often use multiple terms interchangeably. One example that I recently come across were the terms data analytics and business analytics. I’ve asked some of my clients about how they define the two terms but I haven’t come up with any noticeable differences.

Here is my take on what they mean.

It is a subtle difference that is partly about the mindset of the analyst. Data analytics concentrates on what the data tells us. I can know what’s happening, when it happens, how much happened, why it happened, and even what is likely in the future (predictive).

Business analytics goes a step further to consider what it means strategically, tactically, and/or operationally. It stretches the analysis questions to include what can/should we do, how should we measure and monitor (what new KPIs), what new data would be valuable, etc.