A New Perspective on Analytics in Sales and Marketing: Guiding People Toward Strategic Actions to Enhance Outcomes

Published in Member Communities on November 09, 2021

Brynn HarbertsBy Brynn Harberts, Data Analyst, VGM & Associates

Analytics has become a large part of our world as it is incorporated in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Everything from how items are placed throughout a store to constantly changing gas prices involves analytics-based decisions. It is important now more than ever for companies to understand how to interpret, analyze, and leverage the increasing amount of data that is generated every day. Data can be extremely valuable if you know how to use it, and there are a few methods everyone should learn.   

Descriptive Analytics

Descriptive analytics is the most basic form, and the one that most people probably already recognize and utilize. We use descriptive data to determine what has already happened. For example, a monthly sales report shows how your company performed over the previous month, good or bad. It can also be used to pitch products or services to people based on their age.

Descriptive analytics

Being the simplest type of analytics, it can easily be applied to everyday functions and does not require a significant educational background. It is a painless way for businesses to quickly figure out where improvements are needed.

Predictive Analytics

The next step is predictive analytics, where data is used to determine what will happen. These insights can help decide which marketing vehicle is best to deliver content to an intended audience. Even more granular than that, it allows marketing teams to figure out which specific day of the week and time of day will make the greatest impact and increase overall performance of their campaign.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics has its downfalls, as it can never be perfectly accurate. But it is invaluable information because it allows businesses to forecast and determine best strategies for the future.

Prescriptive Analytics

Lastly in the evolution of analytics, and the final part of the primary method trilogy, is the concept of prescriptive analytics. Like predictive, it uses data to determine what will happen but also how processes could be changed to improve future outcomes. The goal of prescriptive analytics is to guide people by recommending specific actions based on predictive insights.

One major benefit is being able to make real-time decisions, like gas companies changing prices throughout the day. If used effectively, prescriptive analytics can provide insights that allow businesses to make more informed decisions to optimize sales and marketing.30% of companies use predictive analytics

Additionally, adding prescriptive analytics to your mix instantly sets you apart from your competition. According to a recent Gartner report, a mere 3% of the companies surveyed indicated they used any prescriptive analytics software. By comparison, 30% said they used predictive analytics tools.

Analytics in Action

So, what does prescriptive analytics look like in real-life sales and marketing teams? It is one thing to know the definitions and ideas behind it, but applying the necessary processes to a business is much more pertinent.

Q4 2021 PlaybookThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Optimizing Sales and Marketing in the DMEPOS Space. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today!


  1. business development
  2. data
  3. marketing
  4. sales