They say that data is the lifeblood of modern business. However, it is business analysts who make sense of it all, condensing it into easily understood metrics or mining it for valuable insights. Managers and business owners demand this data so that they can make data driven decisions instead of risking the future of the company or the return on investment of a campaign based on a hunch. Yet demand for the skillset is only one reason to consider working in this growing field. Here are 5 reasons you should consider a career in business analytics.
Demand is Driven by Technology
We can say that the world was always ruled by data. However, we’re generating far more of it thanks to technology. We’re collecting massive amounts of information on individual buyer preferences and demographics in marketing. And we’re collecting tons of information on the performance of manufacturing equipment on the shop floor.
As our devices become smarter, they collect and share far more information than before. This means demand for business analysts is rising along with our level of automation and usage of intelligent devices. It also means that business analytics is one of the few jobs aside from information technology that is going to be in demand even if automation starts to displace people in other areas.
You Could Work in IT without a Computer Science Background
Business analytics uses many of the same tools as data science. You’re learning how to use data and create business models to make better business decisions. This means you could move into machine learning, though the questions they often ask are different than what management wants from a business analyst.
Yet you could work in IT without having to learn programming or machine learning. Yet you could work in the field of IT without having to learn programming or machine learning. For example, companies hire data engineers for complex tasks such as database management. Analysing data from ecommerce websites or determining the cost-benefit of various infrastructure-as-a-service models allows you to work in the IT field with this valuable business expertise.
A side benefit of earning an advanced degree in business analytics is that you don’t have to work as hard to remain current in the high-tech field. You have to keep up with current data analysis software, but you don’t have to keep up with various programming languages or IT security standards.
You Can Work Anywhere
The data analysis skills you learn at a good school are transferable. Institutions like Aston University Online allow you learn predictive analytics that are as useful in online marketing as IT security and search engine optimisation. Aston University Online also has excellent courses on decision making via prescriptive analytics, helping you to predict future outcomes and determine what course of action to take. That’s true whether you’re studying customer demand or the rate of hardware failures reported from the field.
Here are some of the things you’ll learn through an analytics master programme:
- Decision models
- Management consulting
- Descriptive analytics
- Performance analytics
- Software for analytics
A master’s degree in analytics will teach you how to use the software required to work in business analysis no matter where you want to work. And it will also open doors to other administrative positions such as CFO for instance.
“After they graduate, our students are able to work extensively with data, know how to write code, understand concepts like machine learning and statistics, and can develop proprietary tools to help in decision making.” Said professor Vincent Nijs. “After they gain experience, we expect them to be able to lead their own analytics teams.”
It Allows You to Pivot Your Career
A master’s degree in data analytics is also a good way to change careers. Are you tired of working long hours in IT security, user support or web design? A master’s degree in data analytics allows you to work in data analysis, whether you want to progress to management or work in another department. A business analyst career is open to someone with a background in economics, accounting, or maths. Some schools will accept you if you have a non-quantitative degree but a relevant work career.
Who could use a master’s degree in business analytics to change direction or move into a better paying role? You could be admitted if you have a bachelor’s degree in:
- Computer science
- A quantitative social science
And we already mentioned that extensive work experience in a quantitative field may allow you to enter the program. Once you hold a degree in data analysis, you could move into marketing, business planning, customer relationship management or another whole new field. You’ll also have a significant leg up if you decide to start a business in a competitive field.
It May Let You Manage and Affect Change
Data analysis may allow you to identify trends and address them at a systemic level. This is true in almost every area. You might study Human Resources data to identify reasons why attrition is so high so that it can be reduced. Or you may determine why certain student populations are under-performing.
Data driven action plans will have a significant impact on their lives, and it provides the greatest return on the investment. Then you aren’t wasting money on programmes that don’t do much good. Applying the same data analysis expertise, you could identify which products should be shelved so that money can be invested into growing markets. This could save a slowly dying company.
Yet businesses hire data analysts because they know that it is necessary to remain competitive. Your insights could help the firm discover under-served markets or its next flagship product. Organisations of all sizes value analytics to plan for growth. In short, business analysts are required to keep up with change as well as make the right changes in a timely manner.
Big Data, the Internet of Things and a number of other factors are driving demand for skilled data analysts. Businesses now rely on these professionals to stay in business, and that gives this profession a bright future. Is it time you considered a carer change?