Recently, I took up a course and passed it. It's Google's course on Mobile App Analytics. Though I know what exactly it is, I wonder whether the word analytics as a plural word is correct.

If you come up with your point that if this is a product, it can have such liberty. But then, when I earned the certificate, the word analytics is used in the course name that makes me ask this question here. We generally take care of every word we use as a course title, don't we?

My homework is, I searched for almost all the dictionaries we generally refer to. Except The Free Dictionary, no dictionary mentions this plural word Analytics. Also, if analytic is an adjective, what analytics is in Google's Analytics? A noun?

Here is the certificate I got.

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Analytics is the name for "methods of data analysis" perceived as a subject of study or an area of competency.

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"Data analytics" is still technical jargon. Ordinary dictionaries can be slow to add technical terms.

"Analytics" is similar to "Physics", "Metaphysics", "Calisthenics", and other words that end in "ics". The similarity is that all of these words are singular nouns, because each of them describes a single discipline.

"Analytics" refers to the discipline of using metrics and software to analyze things. (I would say "profession" instead of "discipline", but most people who perform "data analytics" have a more general job title.)

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Analytics is the plural of analytic - because of that, you'll only find analytic in the dictionary.

Sometimes words that look like an adjective are really nouns - if we are talking about something that is a quality itself and not a physical entity, or if the quality of it is much more important than what it actually is.

I learned in the demolition industry that you must take care around explosives.

The witch doctor suggested a number of curatives that I was scared to try.

I learned in calculus what a derivative is.

Analytic - a specific "analytic" can be a number of things, but we don't care about the actual things, just the fact that whatever it is has an analytic property. So we "noun-ify" the adjective.

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  • I did some research and deleted my last comment. It's incorrect that you can only find "analytic" in a dictionary, but after looking at some etymology for "-ics" I understand better what you mean by Analytics being the plural of analytic. I think it could use more elaboration though because if it was confusing to a native speaker, I think it might be confusing to a learner, especially when terms like logic and arithmetic remain singular. – ColleenV Dec 18 '14 at 21:50

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