Career in Business Analytics

Introduction

Business analytics is an exciting field & it offers excellent career opportunities to professionals from different backgrounds. In this article, I am going to discuss about the career prospects in this field. You will also learn about the skills requirement to succeed in this field.

Job titles in analytics world

There are several job titles, which are being used to refer to analytics professionals, some of them are as follows:

  • • Data Scientist
  • • Business Intelligence specialist
  • • Data Analyst
  • • Security Analyst
  • • Web Analyst
  • • Fraud/Risk Analyst
  • • Data Visualization analyst & many more…

The job titles with Analyst word attached to it is increasingly being used to refer to the analytics professionals, so much so that even Business analysts (a completely different job title) are now considered to be analytics professionals.

Business analysts have completely different focus than analytics professionals, learn more about Business analyst career. Business analysts focus on requirements for a software whereas analytics professionals focus on data.



Career Options

We can classify the career opportunity in three broad categories:

  • • Data Analyst professionals
  • • Business/Data Analytics professionals
  • • Data Scientists

This categorization is based on the skills set of the profile. In the next section, we will look at the skill sets for each of these categories.

Data Analysts Skills

Every analytics professional must have one core skill – making sense of data. However, the real difference is the way in which they make use of that data. We will start by looking at the skill set of a data analyst.

Data analysts are at the start of the value chain, where they help the management or data scientists make sense of data. Data analysts are typically involved in the following functions:

  • • Data acquisition from various sources
  • • Data cleaning
  • • Analysis of data
  • • Conducting trend analysis
  • • Spotting correlation and patterns in data

The key skills of a data analyst are as follows:

  • • Knowledge of SQL
  • • Strong knowledge of Advanced Microsoft Excel (eg. Pivot table, Lookup functions, statistical functions)
  • • Data Visualization (Can be done in Excel or other tools like R or SAS)

Microsoft Excel has powerful capabilities, check out our Business Analytics training program with Excel.


Note : Data Analyst is frequently being used as synonym with Data Analytics.

Data Scientist Skills

Data Scientist is the crème de la crème. Harvard Business Review magazine has termed it as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century ”. The glamour attached to this profile has led to some funny take on

Who is a data scientist?

Simon Sharwood Scott Vokes

Definition by Josh wills shows the wide range of skills expected out of a data scientist:

There is no industry-wide agreement on the skills of a data scientist, but some areas of expertise can be outlined as below :

  • • Problem solving skills
  • • Story telling skills
  • • Strong Business domain knowledge
  • • Good understanding of machine learning and statistical models
  • • Powerful communication skills
  • • Analytical skills
  • • Understanding of RDBMS and HADOOP platforms

As you can see these skills are pretty wide ranging and can only be acquired with experience and right exposure.

That brings us to the most exciting career opportunity in the Business Analytics field.

Business/Data Analytics Skills

They Business analytics and data analytics terms are used interchangeably and rightly so. Actually there is no difference. This profile is the fastest growing lot in the industry as the entry barrier are not difficult to cross. The required skills for this profile are:

  • • Understanding of Business analytics field
  • • Strong understanding of Statistical model
  • • Understanding of predictive analytics models
  • • Knowledge of R or SAS or Python or something similar

Learning analytics

You can choose to acquire these skills by learning on your own or by undergoing a training program. You can find plenty of resources on the Internet.

To help you get started, I have picked up these four basic tutorials:

If you are not the self-learning type or you are finding it difficult to understand the concepts, you have couple of options:

  • • Short term professional courses
  • • Long term college degree (typically Master’s degree)

Short term courses from training institutes like Techcanvass will help build your expertise gradually. You will also have the ability to learn the latest skills as training institutions have to keep pace with the latest technologies.

Techcanvass offers two courses on Analytics :


Post-graduate degrees are now available from top colleges in India and abroad. They are typically 12-months to 24-months programs and are quite exhaustive. These programs are offered in full-time as well as part time mode. Some of the top programs are:

2-year Full time PGDM Programme with Analytics Specialization – Narsee Monjee Instit1ute of Management Studies

Conclusion

It’s important to assess your skills before choosing a career option for long term success. Business Analyst and data science are possibly two of the most promising fields to move into. So, whether you are a manual testing professional or a sales professional or are into operations, you can still move into these fields as these are not meant for IT professionals only. All the best

About the Author

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Abhishek Srivastava is a seasoned IT professional with diverse experience in Banking, Insurance, Utility and Education domains. Managing large accounts, Program management, & Business Analysis has been his forte, having done so for customers like ICICI Bank, NTPC & many other International customers. In the past, he has been associated with companies like Mastek and 3i Infotech Ltd (erstwhile ICICI Infotech Ltd).

An NIT (Erstwhile REC)/IIM Kozhikode graduate, now as an entrepreneur, he is pursuing his dream of creating an organization for providing quality training in the fields of Business Analysis & Automation Testing. His other areas of interest are Business Analysis consulting and taking guest lecture at engineering and management colleges.

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