Metrics focus on counting, tracking and presenting past data derived from (for example): web visits, volume of customer purchases, how many (and what kind of) promotions were done in a year and other “low value” data gathering. Since metrics use data from in-house sources (like aggregated sales data), they’re often referred to as an “inside-in perspective” on a business. And, while metrics undoubtedly provide value, reporting of this nature most often yields only basic functional, operational or systemic insights.
Analytics, by contrast, deal with both tangibles and intangibles—harnessing the power of past and present data to generate new insights, optimizations and predictions. Analytics is the domain of software and systems that gather and crunch data from heterogeneous data sources to present transformational “high value” findings. Data streams used in analytics work stem from both internal and external sources; as a result, analytics are often referred to as an “outside-in perspective” on a business.
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