Is machine learning required for data analytics?

machine learning data analytics

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Every company aspires to expand. However, only a small number of businesses actually implement this vision successfully, thanks to data-based decision-making. 

And businesses have begun employing data analytics based on machine learning to make these well-informed decisions.

Before we examine how machine learning supports data analysis, let’s first examine each discipline’s foundations.

Understanding machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that employs algorithms to extract data and forecast future trends. Models are programmed into software, allowing engineers to conduct statistical analysis to understand patterns in data.

Users’ information is collected through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. It predicts your interests and desires based on previous behavior and recommends products, services, or articles that are relevant to you.

Machine learning, as a set of tools and concepts, is used in data science, but it also appears in fields other than data science.

What is data analysis?

The process of manipulating, transforming, and visualizing data in order to derive meaningful insights from the results is known as data analysis. Individuals, businesses, and even governments frequently base their decisions on these insights.

Using basic linear regression, data analysts can forecast customer behavior, stock prices, or insurance claims. They could use classification and regression trees (CART) to create homogeneous clusters, or they could use graphs to visualize a financial technology company’s portfolio to gain some impact insight.

Human analysts were indispensable in finding patterns in data until the final decades of the twentieth century. They are still necessary for feeding the right kind of data to learning algorithms and inferring meaning from algorithmic output today, but machines can and do perform much of the analytical work themselves.

Machine Learning for Data Analysis

Machine learning is the automation of model-building for data analysis. You can create self-improving learning algorithms that take in data and provide statistical inferences. The algorithms make decisions whenever they detect a change in pattern without relying on hard-coded programming.

Before we get into specific data analysis problems, let’s go over some terminology for different types of machine-learning algorithms. To begin, most algorithms are either classification-based (machines sort data into classes) or regression-based (machines predict values).

Let us now differentiate between supervised and unsupervised algorithms. After sufficient data training, a supervised algorithm returns target values. The information used to instruct an unsupervised machine-learning algorithm, on the other hand, requires no output variable to guide the learning process.

A supervised algorithm, for example, might estimate the value of a home based on the price (the output variable) of comparable homes, whereas an unsupervised algorithm might look for hidden patterns in on-the-market housing.

Making sense of the results, or deciding how to clean the data, is still up to us.

Roles of machine learning in data analysis

Here are some examples of how machine learning can be used to analyze data:

  • Conducting market research and segmentation. 

The target market serves as the cornerstone of any firm. To be successful, a business must first understand the market and audience it wants to target. Businesses must therefore carry out market research that may dive deeply into the thoughts of potential clients and deliver illuminating information. By effectively analyzing consumer patterns and behaviors utilizing supervised and unsupervised algorithms, machine learning can be helpful in this area. The media and entertainment sectors employ machine learning to comprehend the preferences of their viewers and cater the right material to them.

  • Exploring customer behavior

Machine learning does not stop after you have drawn a picture of your target audience. It also allows businesses to investigate audience behavior and create a strong customer framework. This machine learning system, known as user modeling, is a direct result of human-computer interaction. User modeling systems are used by Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others to understand their users and make relevant recommendations.

  • Customizing recommendations 

Customers want firms to cater to them specifically. Delivering pertinent content requires businesses to forge a close bond with their audience, whether it be via a smartphone app or a web series. In a recommendation engine, big data machine learning excels. This enables companies to provide accurate ideas that interest clients. To suggest material to its users, Netflix uses recommendation systems based on machine learning.

  • Aiding decision-making 

Machine learning employs a technique known as time series analysis, which is capable of analyzing a large amount of data at once. It is an excellent tool for aggregating and analyzing data, making it easier for managers to make future decisions. Businesses, particularly retailers, can use this ML-enhanced method to accurately predict the future.

  • Pattern recognition

When it comes to data analysis, machine learning can be incredibly effective in sectors where understanding consumer trends can result in game-changing innovations. Industries like healthcare and pharmaceuticals, for instance, must manage enormous amounts of data. All of this may result in healthcare institutions making better diagnoses and, in the long term, spurring more medical research.


The real labor of assessing machine learning findings still belongs to people, even though machine learning delivers precision and scalability in data processing. 

Check out our course on Machine Learning if you think this might be the right career route for you.


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