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The Division of Information Technology

What are analytics?

The field of analytics is new and rapidly evolving in every business and industry, including higher education. At Carolina we differentiate analytics from routine reporting when one or more of these distinguishing characteristics is present:

  • data is used to address underlying questions that are complex or new
  • data is gathered from multiple sources, transformed, loaded, and combined for analysis,
  • source data may change rapidly and be re-analyzed again and again – even “on the fly”
  • the statistical skills and techniques applied in analytics are more involved and aim to discover previously unknown relationships and patterns in data
  • the outputs are more sophisticated than tables and text – often taking the form of drill-down reports, dashboards, and even decision automation based on newly available data