Data Analytics is based on statistics. It has been surmised statistics were used as far back as Ancient Egypt for building pyramids. Governments worldwide have used statistics based on censuses, for a variety of planning activities, including taxation. After the data has been collected, the goal of discovering useful information and insights begins. For example, an analysis of population growth by county and city could determine the location of a new hospital.
The development of computers and the evolution of computing technology have dramatically enhanced the process of Data Analytics. In 1880, prior to computers, it took over seven years for the U.S. Census Bureau to process the collected information and complete a final report. In response, inventor Herman Hollerith produced the “tabulating machine,” which was used in the 1890 census. The tabulating machine could systematically process data recorded on punch cards. With this device, the 1890 census was finished in 18 months.
Today, millions of lines worth of data are taken from spreadsheets and stored into SQL servers to then be retrieved and presented in graphs, all within a week’s work and without little human error. The advent of the internet programs such as Google Analytics has allowed companies to quickly retrieve data and receive constantly up-to-date information on the metrics of a marketing campaign. Through websites such as Google Analytics, advertising agencies can quickly sort through the metrics of a certain time period to figure out where and when to best market their product. The ability to quickly and accurately understand the target audience and success rate of a certain ad campaign is integral to the selling of a certain service or product.