We’re in a tech-based business world, where more and more decisions at every level of operations are made by collecting and analyzing complex data of all kinds. From the day-to-day workings to long-term strategic planning, companies need people who not only understand how to gather and interpret data but are also savvy about applying it in a business context.[Tweet “Is a data analytics degree worth it?”]
If you consider yourself fairly competent around computers and are thinking about an MBA to advance your career or even change it, you might want to take a look at getting a master’s in business analytics instead. Is a data analytics degree worth it? Here are some facts:
A Career In Business Analytics
First, Some Definitions
Big Data, business intelligence and analytics are all terms that are tossed around a lot. You might think they are synonymous, but they’re not.
- Big Data refers to the massive amount of information generated by the digital technology that has permeated every aspect of our lives. It’s been calculated that every two days there is as much data created as there was from the beginning of time until the year 2000. That it’s all worth examining is another story, but Big Data is growing exponentially.
- Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that includes the production, collection, storage and access of all that data.
- Analytics is the process performed on the data that has been delivered by BI, and its aim is to generate the insights that drive decision-making based on it. You might consider it a subset of business intelligence, wherein BI uses historical data to inform current performance, and analytics is predictive, looking to the future for strategies of change.
Is Analytics a Good Fit for You?
Here are four basic attributes of a successful analyst. The higher you can score yourself on them, the more likely it is that you’ll not only enjoy the work but also be good at it.
- Logical: You’re a logical thinker, proficient in both verbal and quantitative reasoning and have the ability to see patterns in the bigger picture.
- Curious: You have a driving interest in what works, what doesn’t and the why of both cases. You like the quest for knowledge as much as you like reaching its conclusion.
- Methodical: When you’re solving a problem, you don’t go off in all directions at once. You narrow down what you’re looking for, break it down into pieces, form an hypothesis and start your investigation from there. When you’ve got all the facts, you put the pieces together again.
- Focused: You might get a kick out of using the technology itself, but you keep your focus on the data. Your goal is finding the solution to a problem, and you don’t let yourself get sidetracked.
It’s also important that you have good communication skills and know how to work on team efforts.
Careers in Analytics
Job titles vary, with “data scientist” being a catchall that is used broadly and vaguely to encompass most positions in the field. As a business analytics graduate, you can find a large number of employment opportunities based on where your background, your talents and your interests lie. Some examples include:
- Management analyst/consultant
- Marketing analyst
- Data scientist
- Big Data analytics specialist
- Operations research analyst
- Services or manufacturing operations manager
- Data analyst
- Project manager
- Supply chain manager
- Market research analyst
- Predictive analyst
Future of the Field
Across a wide array of industries including healthcare, telecommunications, utilities, manufacturing, government and non-profits, more and more companies are being transformed into data-driven organizations that rely on analytical insights derived from data to inform decisions at every level.
What they need are people who can organize and understand mass quantities of unstructured data and interpret this information in ways that benefit functional operations and the kinds of high-stakes business decisions that improve the bottom line and create long-term success.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees a higher-than-average increase ranging from 19 percent to 32 percent in jobs in the general field through 2026, with the expectation that the demand will continue to grow.
As reported by salary.com, per April 29, 2018 the median annual salary of a business analytics manager is $116,620, with a range usually between about $103,000 to over $130,000.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
My main acceptance in life would be that “change” itself is a constant and regardless of opinion it is inevitable. Making peace with ones self and accepting the things we CANNOT change is key to living a full and happy life. Within those experiences we grow as people and learn.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have learned to appreciate all of my imperfections as it makes me who I am as a person and in reality “perfection” is all up for interpretation. In return I have taught myself to replace the old methods in dealing with situations and problems with ones that will deliver or elicit positive responses and solutions.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
I believe my core values or the personal rules I have set in place for myself and chose to live by have brought nothing but reward to my life as it has created my known presence to be one of value and those things remind me daily of my standards set if ever I were to steer off course.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Over analyzing every situation would definitely be a not-so-perfect quirk about myself, leading my mind to wander with thoughts of what-if’s, that usually are just that, “what-if’s”. Along with spontaneity and positivity it creates my not-so-perfect, but awesome self!!
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my positive outlook on life and the huge heart I carry with me daily filled with nothing but compassion for others and a willingness to always be learning something new.