Welcome to the New Year! Readers interested in history and mythology are probably aware that the month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. Janus was an interesting deity. As Wikipedia notes, “In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces.” The staff at Anderson Lock adds, “The ancient Romans had a specific god who held the key, so to speak, to the metaphorical doors or gateways between what was and what is to come — the liminal space of transitioning out of one period of time and into something new.” In the Digital Age, Janus seems like the perfect deity to represent big data. Like Janus, data holds the metaphorical key to what was and what is to come.
Vivek Kumar, the Content Lead at Analytics Insight, notes, “Big data analytics enables businesses to harness their data and use it to identify new opportunities, it leads to smarter business moves with efficient operations and higher ROI.” He goes on to describe the four primary types of analysis businesses can use to benefit their operations. They are:
Diagnostic Analytics: Diagnostic analytics provides information about “what was.” Kumar writes, “With this analytics technique, historical data can be measured against other data to answer the question of why something happened. Essentially, data scientists turn to this technique when trying to determine ‘Why’ behind something happened. Diagnostic analytics can be beneficial in the sales cycle, for instance, to categorize customers by their likely product preferences and sales cycle.”
Descriptive analytics: Descriptive analytics also look to the past. Kumar explains, “This data analytics method provides insight into what has happened historically and will provide businesses with trends to get in-depth detail. Descriptive analytics defines as a preliminary stage of data processing that creates a summary of historical data to yield meaningful information and possibly prepare the data for further analysis.”
Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics, like Janus’ forward-looking face, looks to the future. Kumar observes, “[Predictive analytics] uses big data to identify past patterns to predict the future. Predictive analytics draws its power from numerous methods and technologies, such as big data, data mining, statistical modeling, machine learning and assorted mathematical processes, among others. By utilizing this model, an organization can use past and current data to reliably forecast trends and behaviors.”
Prescriptive Analytics: Journalist Terri Daley reports that Janus was the “doorkeeper, of the heavens.” She adds, because he had two faces, “This meant that he could see forwards and backwards and inside and outside simultaneously without turning around. Janus held a staff in his right hand, in order to guide travelers along the correct route, and a key in his left to open gates.” Like Janus, prescriptive analytics are designed to lead businesses along the correct path. Kumar explains, “This data analytics concept prescribes what action to take to remove future problems or capitalize on a promising trend. Prescriptive analytics essentially provides an organization with a laser-like focus to answer a specific question. It also helps them to determine the best solution for a future opportunity or avoid future risks.”
According to Professor Donald L. Wasson, “Janus was one of the earliest of the Roman deities, sometimes referred to as the ‘god of gods’ or diuom deo.” It’s little wonder that a deity who can see the past, the present, and the future would be so revered. Since data can do the same thing for a business, it’s little wonder that data is revered in today’s business world. Nowadays, few people question the value of data. Yossi Sheffi (@YossiSheffi), Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, goes so far as to assert data is an organization’s most valuable asset. He writes, “The well-worn adage that a company’s most valuable asset is its people needs an update. Today, it’s not people but data that tops the asset value list for companies.”
I’m certainly not suggesting that people start worshiping data; however, I am suggesting that businesses need to leverage the power of data analytics. Asim Rais Siddiqui, Co-Founder and CTO at TekRevol, insists, “Effective incorporation of big data analytics, once paired with management wisdom, has the potential to transform businesses for the better. To keep up with the pace of today’s business world, big data analytics is no longer an option, but a necessity.” The CIO Review staff adds, “Almost every industry now recognizes the value of big data analytics. The relevance of big data in every sector is undeniable, ranging from trends, market analytics, user preferences to competitor analysis and business analysis.”
The Enterra Global Insights and Decision Superiority System™ was designed to help businesses make the most of their data. In today’s fast-paced business environment, looking to the past, understanding the present, and preparing for the future is more important than ever. Embedded analytics can provide insights and, like Janus, can guide businesses along the correct route as well as open gates to new opportunities. Welcome to the new year.
 Vivek Kumar, “Big Data Analytics: What Is It and Why [It] is So Important?” Analytics Insight, 22 November 2021.
 Terri Daley, “Who was Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings?” The Conversation, 31 December 2017.
 Donald L. Wasson, “Janus,” World History Encyclopedia, 6 February 2015.
 Yossi Sheffi, “What is a Company’s Most Valuable Asset? Not People,” LinkedIn, 19 December 2018.
 Asim Rais Siddiqui, “Does Your Business Really Require Big Data Analytics?” Customer Think, 26 August 2019.
 Staff, “Importance of Big Data Analytics in Different Industries,” CIO Review, 25 June 2021.