Business Analytics: Finding Patterns in Chaos
- February 15, 2016
- Posted by: iNurture
- Category: Blogs
Students these days have many career options to choose from, unlike the standard engineering, commerce and medicine streams of yesteryears. One such fast emerging career path is Business Analytics (BA), which is well-suited for people with analytical and problem-solving skills. In this information age, individuals and businesses have easy and quick access to data, but what they lack is knowledge of how to extract information from the data and use it for their specific needs. That’s the job of a business analyst.
Business Analytics Profession – Overview
Business analytics is a broader career concept that is set to soar high with huge earnings potential. Global giants are hiring business analytics professionals to aid in decision making process, track customer preferences, increase competitiveness, identifying strategic business units as well as optimizing business processes. Core responsibilities of people working within BA include providing management with essential information ranging from customer behavioral analysis, data mining, streamlining SQL queries to enabling data-driven decisions.
Businesses operating in the modern hi-tech environment generate huge volumes of data (termed as ‘Big data’) as an outcome of numerous transactions. Big data continues to grow at an exponential rate and businesses need professional analysts to derive information from the data and provide insights into business processes. In a nutshell, business analytics involves statistical applications, quantitative approaches, technologies and strategic tools to investigate and analyze business performance, monitor growth, foresee expansion potential and structure planning.
Careers in Business Analytics
Given the diverse nature of tasks and the growing prominence of business analytics in modern businesses, demand for BA professionals is exceedingly high. Nevertheless, in view of the expert skill-set required in a BA consultant, the expertise continues to be scarce. The growing demand further pushes the compensation package, making the industry more lucrative. To address the demand-supply gap, several universities and online education portals launched courses tailored to meet the requirements of business analytics profession.
Aspiring youngsters have a broad choice of business analytics jobs ranging from performance management consultants, business analytics strategy consultants, enterprise information and management consultants, advanced analytics and optimization consultants as well as enterprise content management consultants to name a few. Several companies spread across various industries such as social media, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, e-commerce, retail, telecom, energy sectors, IT and sports are hiring BA consultants to stay competitive. Few even offer internship programs for aspiring Freshers!! Nevertheless, the industry is still nascent and youngsters need to focus more on acquiring hands-on experience and should not confine learning only to classrooms.
Apart from the specific professional expertise in fields such as quantitative, statistics, information technology and business management, an aspiring candidate need to possess certain inherent skills to succeed in this field. Key requirements include critical thinking, ability to solve complex challenges, inquisitive nature, people skills, tech savvy, exceptional communication skills and mostly importantly the ability to really listen!! The candidate should also be capable of working with advanced technology and multi-terabyte datasets. Graduates from any discipline can enroll themselves in a master’s program offered by several universities, including international ones.
Commonly offered subjects in BA courses comprise Business Management, Data Collection, Data Visualization, Statistical Analysis, Contemporary Mining, Data Mining, Forecasting Analysis, Operations Management, Pricing Analytics, Query Languages, Big Data Analytics and Applied Business Intelligence.
A Typical Day in the Life of a BA Professional
A day in a BA professional’s life could be very dynamic and involves gathering information, making analysis, drawing conclusions, delegating tasks, seeking consents, juggling through data spreadsheets, documenting or reviewing reports, defining processes or specific requirements, interacting with people from various departments, conflict resolution and managing expectations among others. Furthermore, people working within BA need to align with several groups, including Logistics, marketing and customer service.
According to statistics (provided by the Forrester Wave™), SIS and IBM emerged as the dominant players in the Big Data Analytics market for the second quarter ending in the year 2015. Other major participants include Alpine Data Labs, Angoss Software, Alteryx , FICO, Dell, Oracle, Microsoft, KNIME.com, RapidMiner, Predixion Software and SAP.
Emerging as a backbone technology for the implementation of 3rd Platform technologies, BA is set to post a 14.7% compound annual growth rate in the next three years, driven by the escalating demand for greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction. According to a global survey, India enjoys the greatest concentration of BA expertise worldwide and continues to grow opening up huge career potential for young India.