What Is Descriptive Analytics (And How Can Your Business Use It)?

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Descriptive analytics is a must for most businesses.

Every day, thousands of data are generated online. Precisely, 1.145 trillion MB of data is created daily.

The significance of data in the world today cannot be overestimated. All sectors of every industry are aware of the importance of data in their businesses and strive to incorporate data as an effective tool for the growth and progression of their business.

In recent times, data analytics have been transforming the landscape of businesses. Research has shown that incorporating data analytics into our daily activities leads to faster, more effective decision-making.

Being able to harness the power of data analytics, leveraging it to make predictable, more actionable insights that can drive impactful decision-making, will put you in a position of leadership in your industry.

There are four main types of data analytics;

  • Descriptive analytics answers the question; what happened?
  • Diagnostic analytics answers the question; why did this happen?
  • Predictive analytics answers the question; what might happen in the future?
  • Prescriptive analytics answers the question; what should we do next?

In this guide, we are particular about descriptive analytics. We will discuss what it is, who needs it, how it can help a business and the best practices for the adoption and implementation of descriptive analytics in your business.

What Is Descriptive Analytics?

This is popularly known as the simplest form of data analysis. It is one of the first questions that come to mind when trying to conduct an analysis. It answers the question of; what happened. This is one of the most important questions to ask when troubleshooting because to know the next step to take, you must find out how the previous step played out.

It takes raw data and draws detailed conclusions that are useful and can be understood by managers, investors, and other stakeholders of a business.

The strength of descriptive analytics is that it focuses on details. Giving a report that the annual sales of a company are $5 million is great, but this information is too shallow. How do we measure progress?

Was there a decline or a rise from previous years? Was there a high-rise moment? With descriptive analytics, you get to see the larger context and get an informed view of the sales performance of the company.

This type of analytics shows you what has happened in a company as compared to what has been happening. With these specific metrics, you can spot areas of strength and weaknesses and manage future outcomes accordingly.

How Does Descriptive Analytics Work?

Descriptive analytics employs two main methods to collect data; Data aggregation and Data mining. Before data can be analyzed, it must first be gathered and segregated into smaller chunks that can be easily managed. Businesses can then make use of this information to understand the stance of their business in the marketplace and their profitability. This will further influence their next line of action.

Why Is Descriptive Analytics Important?

Descriptive analytics is one of the most basic forms of business intelligence that will be utilized by a company. Before a business makes a concrete decision, it should consider the results of descriptive analytics. This comes into play in inventory, warehousing, sales, and workflow. Reports from all these activities are based on descriptive analytics.

If your business must move forward smoothly, then it must incorporate descriptive analytics. It reveals anomalies in patterns that might require a review, assesses business operations and behavior, and draws temporal comparisons. All these are centered on improving your business and hiking profits.

Use Cases Of Descriptive Analytics

Here are some industry-centered use cases of descriptive analytics;

Banking and Finance

Descriptive analytics is used in financial organizations for proper reporting. These organizations usually make periodic reports containing detailed information about the gains, losses, and expenditures made in the company. These financial statements that provide details on “what happened” are what this looks like in action.

Demand trends

This can be a useful marketing tool to discover the demand and preferences of customers over time. Targeted ads on the internet use descriptive analytics to gather information about current trends and use the information to influence future decisions.

Goal progress tracking

With this type of analytics, you can track your progress toward goals. When KPIs are set, you can help your team understand if they are on track or if certain adjustments need to be made.

How Can Descriptive Analytics Help Your Business?

There are several ways that a business can benefit from descriptive analytics. Here are some of these ways:


By describing the various aspects of your business operations, you can assess the various operations and determine the behaviors that improve or weaken progress. Some of the metrics that can be assessed include customer satisfaction, business performance, and website performance.


Current sales performance can be compared to the sales performance for last month. Comparisons can also be made between different product categories or between your company and a related company. From this comparison, you can have a better understanding of historical trends and understand what does and does not work, letting you make adjustments accordingly.

Spot anomalies

If there are anomalies in operation, they can be spotted with descriptive analytics. You might notice the irregularities in sales or any other sector of your business by studying its performance. This discovery can lead to further probing and research, which might uncover some underlying issues.

Identification of strengths and weaknesses

To focus on your strengths and manage your weaknesses properly, you need to identify them first. This is what descriptive analytics can help you achieve.

Getting Started With Implementing Predictive Analysis

Here are the steps that lead to predictive analysis;

  1. Quantification of goals
  2. Identification of relevant data
  3. Organization of data
  4. Data analysis
  5. Data presentation


There will always be the need for descriptive analytics. It provides information in an easy-to-grasp format. What is most important is that businesses can fuse this form of analysis with the other three forms to produce synergy in the flow of data in the organization.

How DashboardFox Can Help with Descriptive Analytics

Without a doubt, descriptive analytics is one way to hasten the progress of any business’s daily operations. With how functional and beneficial this can be to your business, you must take advantage of this and find a business intelligence tool that can help you achieve your desired levels of success.

Thank goodness we have DashboardFox in the mix because the D in DashboardFox stands for “descriptive analytics”. (Just kidding.)

DashboardFox can help you with that with its wide range of functions and tools inside, from data visualization to modern business intelligence. Plus, you can always suggest new features that you need for your daily operations and the team will work for you to achieve that.

Not only that, but they also offer these services in an interesting no-subscriptions payment system (pay once, use it forever). This is great for small and medium-sized enterprises that want to incorporate business intelligence in their systems for a fraction of the expected cost.

Reach out to us by setting a meeting with our team or try DashboardFox for free through our live demo sessions for free. What are you waiting for? We look forward to seeing you!

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