Data analytics is increasingly being performed with the assistance of specialised systems and software. Data analytics technologies and techniques are widely used in commercial industries to help businesses make better business decisions. Analytics tools are also used by scientists and researchers to validate or disprove scientific models, theories, and hypotheses.
Data analytics, as a term, primarily refers to a variety of applications, ranging from basic business intelligence (BI), reporting, and online analytical processing (OLAP) to various forms of advanced analytics. In that sense, it is similar to business analytics, another umbrella term for approaches to data analysis. The distinction is that the latter is geared toward business applications, whereas data analytics has a broader scope. However, this broad interpretation is not universal: in some cases, people use data analytics specifically to refer to advanced analytics, treating BI as a separate category.