Data analytics (DA) is the process of studying data sets in order to draw conclusions about the information they contain, increasingly using specialized systems and software. Technologies and methods of data analysis are widely used in commercial industries, which allows organizations to make more informed business decisions, and scientists and researchers to verify or refute scientific models, theories and hypotheses.
As a term, data analytics primarily refers to a number of applications, from basic business intelligence (BI), reporting and online analytical processing (OLAP) to various forms of advanced analytics. In this sense, it is similar in nature to business analytics, another general term for approaches to data analysis – with the difference that the latter is focused on business use, while data analytics has a broader focus. However, an expanded understanding of the term is not universal: in some cases, people use data analytics specifically to refer to advanced analytics, considering BI as a separate category.