In descriptive analytics a summary of historical data is created to yield useful information and possibly prepare the data for further analysis. So it is one of the initial steps of analytics.

Econsultancy’s Jeff Rajeck has published an in-depth article on descriptive analytics.

Rajeck says, “For a start, descriptive analytics only uses facts and real data. Descriptive analytics should not include assumptions or derived data which cloud the description. For example, the report described above should not include estimates and any missing data should be clearly noted.

Descriptive analytics is also only about the past. Future estimates and predictions belong to another type of analytics with different best practices.

And finally, calculations made for a descriptive analytics report should be marked clearly. Analysts should indicate if a data point is a sum, average, or an aggregation. Probability and statistics, like predictions, belong to another sort of analytics and should be omitted”.

Analytics approaches every marketer should know #1: Descriptive analytics

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