Analytics is becoming more and more important to businesses. According to Gartner, advanced analytics will be one of the top 10 strategic technologies in 2011. A recent study by Accenture states that companies are increasingly turning to analytics to gain a competitive edge. As more and more businesses are realizing the power of data and how it can help them make better decisions, their reliance on analytics is growing.

We decided to analyze the growth in popularity of analytics using Google Insights for Search, a service provided by Google providing insights into the search terms people have been entering into the Google search engine.

Image courtesy of 2nix at
Image courtesy of 2nix at

Basically, users can enter any word or phrase and see how it has fared on the Google search engine in the last 6 years. So we entered the word “Analytics” on it.

Here is how “Analytics” has fared since 2004.

The graph is showing the index of popularity of the term ‘analytics’ in the last 6 years. The peak period is assigned a value of 100 and other values are calculated as a proportion of that. In this graph you can see that search popularity of analytics has been growing more or less steadily in the time period and the peak is achieved in Mar 2011. This period thus, has a value of 100. In comparison the period from 2004 till almost the end of 2006 has a value of 7.

How do you interpret the numbers?

Let us  take a hypothetical situation.  Assume there were 1 million search queries on Google in March 2005 and out of these 700 contained the term “analytics”. This means the share of the search queries containing the term ‘analytics’ out of total queries on Google is 700 divided by 1 million or .07%.  Now assume that the search query volume in Mar 2011 is 10 million. Now if the popularity of ‘analytics’ has remained steady over these 6 years, we would expect .07% of 10 million or 7000 queries to contain this term. In our case, we find that instead of 7000, a 100000 queries contain this term. This means that 1% of the search queries had the term ‘analytics’ in them in Mar 2011 as compared to .07% queries in Mar 2005.

Since we are using a simplified case for ease of understanding, in this case you can see how .07% would correspond to an index of 7 when 1% corresponds to an index of 100.


The analysis shows that the term ‘analytics’ has grown 14 times faster in popularity than the average search term on Google in the last 6 years. To understand the growth in the popularity of analytics, compare this to a generic term like ‘beer’. Beer has always been a popular beverage so we don’t expect to see a lot of upward or downward movement in its popularity in the last 6 years. Here is how beer has fared on google search.

Popularity by Region

India has become the global hub for analytics. And this is clearly reflected in the regional popularity chart. India is where the term ‘analytics’ is most popular amongst all the countries in the world. Within India, Harayana and Karnataka lead the way, again driven by the two metros – Gurgaon and Bangalore, where many of the analytics companies and MNC hubs are located.

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