Follow Robert Facebook
Email Robert Email
Business Growth
Jul 15, 2015

Business Analytics: Transforming Data To Insight

Sponsored Content provided by Robert Burrus - Dean , Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington

Data that was once difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain is quickly becoming commoditized in our modern, connected society. Consumers and firms have both reached a point where data is almost taken for granted. Businesses can easily obtain customer purchase data through inexpensive point-of-sale systems and loyalty programs. Individuals can access their own health and exercise data through fitness trackers and smart watches. Google (for better or worse) knows my driving habits and locations that I frequent and proactively pushes traffic data to me before I even get in my car. 
These are just a few examples of how consumers and businesses are increasingly becoming “data rich.” However, with this abundance of data comes a set of challenges. Fortunately, business analytics tools, in the hands of well-trained professionals, can confront these challenges and allow businesses and individuals to transform data into value-added information. This information leads to insights that can then be used to drive decision-making. For example, a retailer may become aware of their customers’ purchasing patterns and be able to more accurately target them with relevant advertisements and promotions. An individual may become aware of long periods of inactivity and implement an exercise program.   
One of the initial challenges associated with an abundance of data is data cleaning. Data that is collected by a business can be “dirty” in the sense that it can be incomplete or inaccurate. A variety of analytical techniques exist to clean data by identifying potentially inaccurate data and imputing or estimating missing values. Data, once cleaned and organized, becomes information. The challenge then becomes how to extract actionable value from the information. Visualization and statistical techniques can be employed to succinctly present and summarize information. For example, seasonal and other patterns in the information may be readily observed when visualized. Machine learning methods can also identify patterns in the information. For example, Internet advertisements may be served to website visitors through an automated auction approach based on machine learning techniques that seek to maximize desired advertising objectives.  
With firms of all sizes and individual consumers seeking the benefits of business analytics, the need for skilled business analytics has never been greater. Fortunately, a wide variety of training is available from traditional and online education outlets. At UNCW, business analytics is a major component of the operations management undergraduate degree program in the Cameron School of Business. For more information on business analytics, contact Dr. Stephen Hill at [email protected]. Furthermore, UNCW’s Swain Center provides affordable professional development and continuing education opportunities for businesses and individuals in southeastern North Carolina. Among these opportunities is our Data Analytics Using Excel class that is scheduled to be taught in October. For more information, please contact the Swain Center’s Diane Badakhsh at [email protected]
Dr. Robert T. Burrus, Jr. is dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before taking on the role, Burrus was the department chair for economics and finance and a professor of economics. He has been on Cameron’s faculty since 1998. The Cameron School of Business has 90 full-time faculty members and 29 administrative and staff members. The school hosts approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 170 graduate students. International students come to study at Cameron from all over the world. The Cameron School of Business is AACSB accredited; offers capstone experiences; houses a Financial Trading Markets Room; provides for overseas learning opportunities; and is a founding member of the Trans-Atlantic Business School Alliance. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

Other Posts from Robert Burrus

Csbwbjmbaad300x250px 4151594621
Ico insights



Tax Reform: Depreciation Changes

Chad Wouters - Earney & Company, LLP

Are You Lucky in Retaining IT Talent?

Marty Cayton - TeamLogic IT of Wilmington & Fayetteville
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Don’t Let Wildlife Invade Your Life

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)

Trending News

ILM Set To Get New Jet Bridge, Readies For United

Christina Haley O'Neal - Mar 21, 2018

Washington NC-based Meal Prep Service Opens Wilmington Location

Jessica Maurer - Mar 21, 2018

Open Air Dining And Drinks At Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar

Jessica Maurer - Mar 21, 2018

Nori Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar Now Open At The Pointe At Barclay

Jessica Maurer - Mar 21, 2018

GE Aviation Invested $36M In Wilmington Last Year

Christina Haley O'Neal - Mar 20, 2018

In The Current Issue

Realtors Seek To Dive Into Global Market

Billions of foreign dollars were invested in the nation’s real estate last year, and Cape Fear Realtors are looking to bring more of that in...

Amazon HQ And The Regional Market

As of press time, Raleigh was still in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. Local economic developers say the pote...

Stroke Program Expanded For More Coverage

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has expanded its endovascular stroke program to ensure patients do not have to leave the area to get tre...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with John Gizdic, CEO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2017
2017 Health Care Heroes