One of the most fundamental and crucial occupations in the corporate sector is business analytics. How to become a business analyst? How can one succeed in this industry? This article discusses the qualifications needed to apply to a Business Analytics program and the employment prospects in this area. Learn what a business analytics curriculum comprises and the fundamental differences between business analysis and data analysis.
What is Business Analytics?
So, you are considering to become a business analyst. But what is business analytics all about? Business analytics is a discipline that uses high-end technologies, models and algorithms to deeply mine data to obtain business insights and solve business problems. The goal of business analysis is simple: to improve the efficiency of the enterprise and obtain the maximum business value.
(What is it) Quantitative display of business operations
(How much) Quantitatively judge business problems
(Why) Find the cause of the problem from a data perspective
(How) Using Data to Predict Business Trends
(And how) Use data to comprehensively judge business performance
What is the difference between Business Analytics and Data Analytics?
Business analytics uses data analysis methods to solve business problems. Data analysis is a basic tool that can be used in many fields such as policy, academia, education, sports, and, of course, business fields that companies are most concerned about. In business analytics, the field is more niche and it focuses only on the business aspects. It is the word “business” that makes data analytics a different concept. To become a business analyst instead of a data analyst, you have to think business, profits and efficiency.
In summary, while data analytics is focused on processing and analyzing data, business analytics applies the insights generated from data analytics to solve business problems and drive business value.
What are the basic requirements to apply for a Business Analytics major?
If you’ve got the business-thinking, you can become a business analyst! The Business Analytics major welcomes students from various professional backgrounds. However, top schools tend to recruit students from mathematics, economics, computer, and business majors. Below are some relevant skills and courses that may aid your application.
Enroll in relevant courses to become a business analyst
Students need strong mathematics background. You will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification to apply for a business analytics major. For example: Linear Algebra, Calculus I, Calculus II, Probability and Statistics. Statistics is utmost essential to solve decision-making problems.
- Mathematics: Mathematics is an essential subject for business analytics, as it provides a foundation in statistics, calculus, and algebra. Take as many math courses as you can, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.
- Statistics: A basic statistics course in high school can give you an understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics, which are essential concepts in business analytics.
- Economics: A course in economics can help you understand the business and financial aspects of data analysis. It can also provide you with a foundation in micro- and macroeconomic theory.
- English and Communications: Strong communication skills are essential for business analytics majors, as you will need to communicate complex data insights to non-technical stakeholders. Courses in English, public speaking, and communications can help you develop these skills.
Computer skills to become a business analyst
It is ideal to have taken corresponding coursework. Prospective employees are certain to be knowledgeable in the analytical tools by having computer abilities. For instance: a course in computer programming using an appropriate programming language (most commonly Python or R); tools and applications for statistics, econometrics, and mathematics (for example, SAS, Stata, SQL, R, Tableau, PowerBI, Mathematica).
- Proficiency in Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used software programs for data analysis. Knowing how to use Excel to manipulate, analyze, and visualize data is essential for a business analytics major.
- Experience with statistical software: To become a business analyst, you need to learn skills involving statistical models and tools to analyze data. Some commonly used statistical software programs in business analytics include R, SAS, and Python.
- Understanding of databases: Business analytics requires working with large datasets stored in databases. Having knowledge of database concepts, including how to extract and manipulate data, is essential for data analysis.
- Knowledge of data visualization tools: Communicating data insights effectively is an important aspect of becoming a business analyst. Students should have experience with data visualization tools like Tableau, Power BI, and Google Data Studio.
- Understanding of programming languages: While not strictly necessary, having knowledge of programming languages such as Python, SQL, or Java can be advantageous for students pursuing a business analytics major. These languages are commonly used in data analysis and can help students automate data manipulation tasks.
- Familiarity with cloud computing: As businesses increasingly adopt cloud computing, it’s important for students to have experience working with cloud-based analytics tools like Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
Very likely, your high school courses will not be able to teach you all these sought-after skills. It is important to take up extracurricular courses to build these skills if you are aiming to apply to a selective university.
Take relevant business courses
If you have time, it is helpful to take one or two business courses. For example: Introduction to Corporate Finance, Introduction to Financial Accounting, Introduction to Marketing.
Of course, it is possible to submit an application for a Business Analytics degree without fulfilling the prerequisite course requirements. Through alternative channels, like internships and online courses, students can proactively demonstrate their value and interest.
What do you learn in Business Analytics at the university?
To become a business analyst, students can enroll in a Business Analytics major at the university. A university major in business analytics typically covers a wide range of topics related to data analysis and business strategy. As a business analytics major, you can expect to learn the following key concepts and skills:
- Statistics and data analysis: Students will be taught the principles of statistical analysis, including descriptive and inferential statistics, probability theory, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing. Students will also learn how to use statistical software tools such as R, SAS, and Python to analyze data.
- Data management: Students will learn how to use database management systems such as SQL to collect, organize, and store huge datasets. They will also learn how to clean and preprocess data to prepare it for analysis.
- Data visualization: Students will learn how to use data visualization tools like Tableau, Power BI, and Google Data Studio to create charts, graphs, and interactive dashboards that effectively communicate data insights to stakeholders. These are very important tools to become a business analyst and often job interviews will assess these skills.
- Machine learning: Students will learn how to use supervised and unsupervised learning techniques, as well as decision trees, random forests, and neural networks, to huge datasets.
- Business strategy: Students will learn to use data analysis to solve real-world business problems in areas such as marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. Students will also learn how to communicate data insights to non-technical stakeholders and make business decisions based on data.
- Ethical considerations: Students will study about the ethical considerations and implications of data analysis, including issues relating to privacy, security, and prejudice.
During the course of study, students will encounter several real-world business scenarios from various industries. Students have the opportunity to study the manager’s suggestions and determine whether there are any other approaches that would be more effective. In order to obtain more hands-on experience, students will also have the chance to actively take part in the business consulting cases of the industry partners with whom the school works with.
Become a Business Analyst – Employment outlook
In the age of big data, numerous businesses, including IT, Internet, games, communications, finance, medicine, consulting, and retail, require experts in data mining and analysis. As a result, business analysis graduates are highly sought after, and salaries are on the optimistic side overall.
Despite being a young discipline, business analytics has recently gained popularity due to a significant labor shortage and high demand for qualified workers. More people than ever before are looking online for information on how to become a business analyst. Due to the fact that business analysis is a cross-disciplinary subject, different educational institutions have different training objectives.
The responsibilities of a business analyst are:
- Database administration (aggregating, cleaning up and organizing data sets)
- Constructing statistical models that describe how different variables interact to assist businesses in making predictions about the future
- Posing and responding to inquiries about huge data sets
- Making data visualizations that provide intelligible, practical narratives about fresh ideas and practical applications
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