Updated May 5, 2023
Difference Between Predictive Analytics vs Descriptive Analytics
Predictive Analytics will help an organization to know what might happen. Next, it predicts the future based on the the present data available. It will analyze the data and provide statements that have yet to happen. It makes all kinds of predictions you want to know, and all projections are probabilistic.
Descriptive Analytics will help an organization to know what has happened in the past; it will give you past analytics using stored data. For a company, it is necessary to know the past events that help them to make decisions based on the statistics using historical data. For example, you might want to know how much money you lost due to fraud.
Head to Head Comparison Between Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics (Infographics)
Below is the top 7 comparison between Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics:
Key Differences Between Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics
Below is a detailed explanation of Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics:
- Descriptive Analytics will give you a vision of the past and tells you: what has happened? Whereas Predictive Analytics will recognize the future and tells you: What might happen in the future?
- Descriptive Analytics uses Data Aggregation and Data Mining techniques to give you knowledge about the past, but Predictive Analytics uses Statistical analysis and Forecast techniques to know the future.
- Descriptive Analytics is used when you need to analyze and explain different aspects of your organization, whereas Predictive Analytics is used when you need to know anything about the future and fill in the information that you do not know.
- A descriptive model will exploit the past data that are stored in databases and provide you with an accurate report. A Predictive model, identifies patterns found in past and transactional data to find risks and future outcomes.
- Descriptive analytics will help an organization to know where they stand in the market and present facts and figures. Whereas predictive analytics will help an organization to know how they will stand in the market in the future and forecasts the facts and figures about the company.
- Reports generated by Descriptive analysis are accurate, but the reports generated by Predictive analysis are not 100% accurate it may or may not happen in the future.
Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics Comparison Table
A king hired a data scientist to find animals in the forest for hunting. The data scientist has access to data warehouse, which has information about the forest, its habitat, and what is happening in the forest. On day one, the data scientist offered the king a report showing where he found the highest number of animals in the forest in the past year. This report helped the king to make a decision on where he could find more animals for hunting. This is an example of Descriptive Analysis.
The next day the data scientist identifies the possibility of finding the particular animal at specific places and times using innovative tools. This is an example of Predictive Analysis. This helps the king to find the animals easily with minimal effort.
|Basis of Comparison||Descriptive Analytics||Predictive Analytics|
|Describes||What happened in the past? By using the stored data.||What might happen in the future? By using the past data and analyzing it.|
|Process Involved||Involves Data Aggregation and Data Mining.||Involves Statistics and forecast techniques.|
|Definition||The process of finding useful and important information by analyzing huge amounts of data.||This process involves forecasting the future of the company, which is very useful.|
|Data Volume||It involves processing huge data that are stored in data warehouses. Limited to past data.||It involves analyzing large past data and then predicting the future using advanced techniques.|
|Examples||Sales report, revenue of a company, performance analysis, etc.||Sentimental analysis, credit score analysis, forecast reports for a company, etc.|
|Accuracy||It provides accurate data in the reports using past data.||Results are not accurate, they will not tell you exactly what will happen, but they will tell you what might happen in the future.|
|Approach||It allows the reactive approach||While this is a proactive approach|
In this blog, I have specified only a few characteristics of the difference between Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics; the result shows that there is an important and substantial difference between these two Analytical processes.
There is an increase in the demand for analytics in the market. Every organization is talking about Big Data these days, but it is just a starting point for creating valuable and actionable insights on the organization’s data. Therefore, analytical processes like Predictive Analytics and Descriptive Analytics will help an organization to identify how the company is performing, where it stands in the market, any flaws, any issues that need to be taken care and many more. By applying these analytical processes in business, you will know both the Insight and the Foresight of your business.
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