What is business analytics?

Estimated read time 3 min read

Title: The Rise of Business Analytics: Navigating Data in Decision-Making

By Samkele Mchunu

In the bustling landscape of modern commerce, the trajectory of big decisions is increasingly guided by a potent force: data. From corporate behemoths to burgeoning startups, the journey from raw information to transformative decision-making is paved by the principles of business analytics.

A decade ago, Deloitte prophesied that the integration of big data and analytics would become the “new normal” for sustaining growth. Today, with an expansive workforce identifying as business analysts and the establishment of dedicated organizations like the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the significance of this field has never been more pronounced.

But what exactly is business analytics? According to Anindya Ghose, director of the master’s of science in business analytics program at New York University’s Stern School of Business, it’s the process of driving decisions through data and analytics. This field, constantly evolving alongside technological advancements, has permeated industries ranging from tech and healthcare to retail and media.

Devanshu Mehrotra, a curriculum developer and lead instructor at General Assembly, underscores the essence of business analytics as the art of data translation. With data democratization on the rise, the need for adept “data translators” has become paramount. Key skills include domain expertise, technical proficiency encompassing programming and data visualization, and the crucial ability to craft narratives that bridge data trends with business imperatives.

Ghose emphasizes the significance of training in econometrics and experimental design, essential for navigating the complexities of statistical modeling and test creation in business analytics. Moreover, the advent of AI has catalyzed efficiencies in day-to-day operations within this domain.

For aspiring business analysts, a plethora of learning avenues awaits. Traditional degree programs tailored to business analytics, as well as bootcamps and specialized courses, offer diverse pathways to acquire requisite skills. Mehrotra advocates for shorter, more dynamic educational formats to keep pace with the rapid evolution of analytics tools and techniques.

However, beyond formal education, hands-on projects, portfolio development, and mentorship from industry experts are indispensable for standing out in the competitive job market. Importantly, the scope of roles within business analytics extends beyond the traditional business analyst title to encompass roles such as data scientist, market researcher, and chief digital officer.

In a world increasingly intertwined with technology and data, the indispensability of business analytics is indisputable. Ghose aptly characterizes it as an inexorable force shaping decision-making paradigms across industries. As businesses continue to harness the power of data, the invitation to join the analytics revolution becomes more compelling than ever.

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