Our country and culture are more data-driven than ever before. Businesses don’t take a single step without first considering the ramifications of every last scenario. We collect data obsessively, almost religiously, collating and organizing and combing through it with the utmost zeal. Every system, every program, every application, every social media post – all are constantly collecting mountains of data, most of which go unseen for life.
This creates simultaneously a huge opportunity and a huge wasted opportunity. On the one hand, data has a lot to tell us about how well things are working and how much better we could make them with the right optimization. On the other hand, data is difficult to use, can hide truths or create lies, comes to us tainted and in need of cleaning, and is otherwise a challenge to leverage for a business’s wellbeing.
Which is where business analytics comes in. Business analysts are experts who know exactly how to prepare data for real use, then analyze it to provide valuable suggestions about which move a business should make next. It is an interesting, ever-changing, ever-growing field … and it needs people like never before.
If you’re considering a data analytics degree, then you’re probably also considering what you would do with it afterwards. Great question. Here are 10 things you can do with a business analytics degree.
Many people go into analytics because they want to work in the world of finance. From banking to investment, mortgages to even real estate (a related field), business analytics plays an important role. If you can’t learn from past successes and failures, then apply them to the future, you won’t succeed. That’s why businesses in the finance realm place so heavy an emphasis on data that can tell them what works, what doesn’t, and how they can improve. If you can be the person to find the supporting data and draw those conclusions, you can make yourself valuable for life.
Do you like the idea of going into management? Would you like a team working under you, striving to find critical information that will help your company shine? If so, you can use a business analytics degree. Especially if it’s a master’s, this gives you the management chops to lead people as well as the mathematical and analytical skills to create value for your company.
Economics is all about numbers and trends, both of which are embedded in the rafts of data any company produces in any given week or year. If you are curious about how currencies and commerce affect our world, and want to find the inner workings that run economies, business analytics can help you get there.
4. Computer Science
Love working with computers? Business analytics might prove an excellent master’s degree for you, layered on top of a computer-oriented undergrad such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, programming or software engineering. If you go into computer science with a business analytics degree, you can help to code, run, modify and maintain algorithms and programs that mine data, clean it up and present it in a utilizable way.
Similar to computer science, IT is all about machines and their networks. However, it is different in that IT focuses on the technology itself rather than the information it contains. If you’re interested in creating systems that gather the best possible data, business analytics can help you there. It gives you the skills needed to understand how data is created, stored and accessed, so that you can model your networks after it for the best possible results for the company.
While we tend to think of Mad Men when we consider marketing, this is actually one of the most numbers-heavy fields around. Marketing campaigns are all about the results, and that means mining and analyzing data is an everyday part of the enterprise. If you love ads and want to spend your life in an advertising capacity, this field blends well with data. It could be your business analytics dream.
7. Product Development
Product development involves endless testing, retesting, prototyping, modifying and otherwise pivoting. If a company does this on the business of hunches or guesses, then it won’t last long. Instead, businesses need to pin their updates on solid data, and a business analyst is the person who gives it to them. If you’re fascinated by new products and want to help them shine, think about product development as a line of work.
8. Human Resources
Make no mistake: Humans are statistics too. We don’t mean this in a derogatory way. Rather, the people who make up an organization, an audience or a market all represent meaningful data points, from whom you can draw meaningful conclusions about how well a particular approach to business or product development is working. You can, therefore, use a business analytics degree to leverage people better, and where does a business’s focus on people begin? In HR, of course. Use your degree for hiring and you’ll see measurable improvement in any organization for which you work.
9. Data Analytics
Perhaps you just love the idea of manipulating data, pure and simple. If so, data analytics is a great field to go into after earning a business analytics degree. You can work with numbers and statistics all day, poring over them to find meaning, creating algorithms to help draw conclusions, and taking your recommendations to the top brass. You can do this either as an employee of a firm or as a freelance specialist.
SEE ALSO: How to Become a Data Scientist
10. Quantitative Modeling
Closely related to data analytics, quantitative modeling is the process of taking data and feeding it into programs and algorithms to make predictions and build models for the future. This is helpful to a wide number of industries, from construction to banking to even education. If you are fascinated by models and scenarios, and love the idea of providing sound advice to firms and organizations, this might be the job for you.
Whatever path you choose in business analytics, you’ll want a solid foundation on which to build your career. That’s where a master’s degree comes in. With a solid understanding of the science of analytics, you can confidently apply to any of the jobs above. Best of all, you can earn your degree in as little as 12 months online, giving you the flexibility to manage your existing responsibilities while attending school from the comfort of your own home or office. Want to learn more? We invite you to get in touch with us today.