A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

To begin, let’s picture a spinner, divided equally into sections numbered “1” through “5.” Each time we spin the spinner, the arrow lands on a different number. Let’s assume we have some time on our hands, so we spin it 100 times. At the end, it has landed on “1” a total of 13 times, “2” a total of 22, “3” a total of 18, “4” a total of 18, and “5” a total of 29 times.

If we were to predict what the outcome of another spin may be, under the same circumstances, this data could help to inform this prediction. For instance, we could predict with reasonable confidence that the spinner would land on an odd number, not only because there is a higher probability of that outcome (3/5 as compared to 2/5), but we have historical data. Out of 100 spins, the outcome was odd exactly 60 times.

Why is this relevant?

When we consider business analytics, the purpose is to make predictions based on past results and statistical likelihood. In this case, we can predict with reasonable confidence that the spinner would land on an odd number if spun again, based on both the probability and the evidence suggesting that probability would be reflected in the results.