What is Business Analytics and Why Does It Matter?

2020-09-10  |  Created by  CareerTu

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Ever wanted to work with the top brass at a company and determine high-level operations and marketing strategies?

 

If so, your dream job could be business analytics, and you don’t have to become a CEO to get there either. 

 

Let this article serve as your introduction to business analytics and an explanation for why it’s an important digital field ripe for entry.

 

Defining Business Analytics

Simply put, business analytics is the art of transforming business data into business insights.

 

This process involves collecting, organizing, and interpreting data using statistical and iterative methodologies. By treating data as a corporate asset, the insights business analytics professionals produce should allow a company to solve problems relating to efficiency and productivity. 

 

The ultimate goal of business analytics is to increase revenue by using data-driven, proactive solutions seasonally and annually, or for scaling purposes. This in turn reduces guesswork and waste and provides upper management with concrete evidence for their proposals.

 

Business Analytics Subdivisions

Business analytics isn’t one big field—it’s divided into multiple subdivisions or types. To get the best results, these different subdivisions are usually deployed in stages throughout a single project.

 

Descriptive analytics professionals find ways to interpret a business’ data in order to give a clear picture of what’s happening or has happened, as well as customer behavior. Descriptive analytics professionals typically produce reports for high-level decision-makers in the company.

 

Diagnostic analytics professionals are most concerned with how past performance has influenced the trends. Diagnostic analytics can only correlate actions and outcomes, rather than proving an actual cause-and-effect relationship. Diagnostic analytics professionals usually produce business dashboards for clients.

 

Predictive analytics professionals try to predict the probabilities of future events. For instance, predictive analytics professionals can do a sentiment analysis on a certain user, analyzing their social media posts to predict their likely feeling about a product (either positive, neutral, or negative). Such sentiment analyses are put into reports predicting sales and marketing outcomes.

 

Prescriptive analytics professionals give recommendations based on the findings of the previous three analyses. These recommendations can be given at a general level so as to achieve an overall goal, or at more specific levels for smaller goals. Prescriptive analytics professionals often create recommendation engines to predict the needs of customers in real-time.

 

Skills for Business Analytics

Business analytics professionals use a variety of skills to succeed in their profession.

 

Most commonly, they use quantitative analysis and mathematical models to look at data and produce solutions. This means that business analytics professionals often use statistics, computer science, operations research, and information systems to interpret large and complex sets of data. 

 

If you’re looking for specific skills to learn, rather than a full introduction to business analytics, you’ll find that the most popular ones are those traditionally practiced by developers. 

 

Python is now the most in-demand skill for business analytics, as well as its most popular programming language. Python, like other statistical languages, provides business analytics professionals with statistical tools to analyze large data sets. You can use R, another statistical language, for business analytics as well.

 

If you understand programming and the underlying statistical techniques, you can automate data processing and analysis tasks with these programming languages. Both R and Python have packages that come with data visualization and scraping tools, as well as advanced statistical algorithms. 

 

Needless to say, Python and R are ideal if you’re working for IT-based companies. Non-IT-based companies looking for business analytics professionals may not require or encourage knowledge of these skills.

 

Business analytics and SQL also go hand-in-hand. In fact, it’s quickly become a required skill set for the job. 

 

SQL will allow you to work with large databases. If you use SQL for business analytics, you can use it to create a database table, drop or delete it, and modify queries to extract data out of it. SQL also allows you to read entity-relationship diagrams and visualize data for clients.

 

Why You Should Learn Business Analytics

Business analytics is one of the most in-demand jobs in the data science and analytics industry. 

 

Because business analytics gives companies a competitive edge in almost every industry, from nonprofit organizations to government agencies, job prospects for business analytics professionals are quickly multiplying. 

 

The development of artificial intelligence and machine learning has caused the demand for business analytics candidates to outstrip supply. 

 

Master’s degrees in Business Analytics are already popular the world over, but now it’s possible to land jobs within the business analytics job market after graduation and without prior experience. 

 

These jobs are also incredibly lucrative.

 

Those with several years of experience can get high-paying salaries—up to $100,000 yearly, plus bonuses. LinkedIn reports that U.S. candidates for such positions earn a median base salary of $130,000.

 

Business analytics is also a fairly democratic field because people from several different backgrounds can transition into it with several useful skills already under their belts.

 

Anyone with some prior experience or certification in business science, computer science, management, data science, applied analytics, business intelligence, statistics, marketing, or information management will have a leg up on competing applicants. This is because business analytics professionals usually work closely with other professionals in these fields or use their skills themselves. 

 

Because effective communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are also necessary, graduate students from a variety of backgrounds—science, engineering, mathematics, humanities, law, and medicine—could also make a transition to business analytics.

 

In other words, you don’t need extensive business analytics training to start your journey.

 

Some Resources to Get Started

Business analytics covers a wide array of topics and can appear intimidating, but finding a good introduction to business analytics online isn’t all that difficult in light of its increasing popularity.

 

If you’re a college graduate in information systems, business, accounting, human resources, or any related field, enrolling in an entry-level business analyst certificate program will serve as a good introduction to business analytics and help build your experience and skillset. Good performance can get you into a junior position.

 

Software professions looking to make a career shift and business industry professionals will also have an easier time adjusting and should enroll in these courses.

 

Unemployed people with no business analytics training are encouraged to check out transitional jobs in technology, programming, or engineering before taking these online courses.

 

Either way, you’ll want to find online courses that provide certification and recruiting opportunities for business analytics positions.

 

CareerTu offers courses in Python and business intelligence, both of which are directly relevant to business analytics. Other CareerTu courses cover data science and digital marketing as well.

 

CareerTu also offers internships incorporating business intelligence skills as a part of its Capstone Project. These internships will give you business analytics training and are designed to help you solve real-world problems for the brands we partner with.

 

Over 6 months, you’ll have opportunities to analyze user data and channels performance, and then provide actionable insights to increase the marketing ROI for brands as prestigious as Google, Amazon, BMW, L'Oréal, and LVMH. In the past, our Capstone alumni have been hired by the top 2% of companies.

 

You can request more information about our Capstone project here.

 

Additionally, CareerTu’s 7-Day Python Challenge gives you the chance to practice your skills in a nationwide online competition. Prizes include exclusive access to free CareerTu Python courses.

 

Register for the challenge today.

 

Any way you look at it, CareerTu’s online courses, digital internships, and fun challenges can give you valuable business analytics training. 

 

Take advantage of all these opportunities to jump-start your digital career!