We have generated around 40 zettabytes of data till 2020, 90% of which is generated in the last 2 years as estimated by EMC and IBM. All this data has the potential to drive effective business solutions and drive impact the businesses and society at large. Businesses always want to analyze and understand the behavioral sciences behind the actions taken by their customers and to accumulate actionable information.
Business Analytics is not only about data it requires strategic thinking, business sense, and the ability to connect the dots from different departmental and industry data along with technical skills. These skills help the businesses transform data into insights and further use these insights to deliver outcomes.
What is Business Analytics?
According to Gartner, a leading research organization, Business analytics consists of solutions used to build analysis models and simulations to create scenarios, understand realities, and predict future states. Business analytics includes data mining, predictive analytics, applied analytics and statistics, and is delivered as an application suitable for a business user. These analytics solutions often come with prebuilt industry content that is targeted at an industry business process (for example, claims, underwriting, or a specific regulatory requirement).
Business Analytics covers all the aspects of our lives, from birth a child is engaging in learning solutions powered by analytics to an adult making any purchase decision is influenced by analytics. Business Analytics is going to be at the heart of any business transaction and is going to influence our lives in a major way in the coming times.
Types of Business Analytics
Business Analytics is an umbrella that encompasses 2 types of Analytics. Business Intelligence which is a traditional Science of analyzing past data and viewing trends using the latest interaction-based visualization software and Advanced Analytics which has more recently came into existence because of the quantity and quality of data that is possible due to big data and cloud storage and computations. Let’s understand these two in more detail and try to relate it to the more known types of analytics namely descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.
Business Intelligence is recording and reviewing the historical data to analyze and understand the performance related to business trends. This helps the businesses to take corrective steps and adjustments for ensuring better results. Hence dealing with descriptive analytics.
Advanced Analytics is using statistical models to do predictive and prescriptive analytics. It consists of different structured and unstructured models to analyze historical data and forecast future data trends by using data analytics and deciding on millions of what-if analyses called simulations where business acumen also plays a part.
The need for Business Analytics
Business Analytics has changed from a basic annual result forecast to more detailed predictions and understanding of purchase patterns at the customer level.
Let’s take an example of an eCommerce firm, which can analyze the customer’s journey from discovering a product to final sales conversion and can replicate such success at a larger scale by showing the customers with products based on their interests and purchasing patterns. This is done with high precision to influence customers’ decisions. This is just one example of how the businesses are utilizing business analytics to drive better impact.
Business analytics can provide an edge to the companies in the following areas:
- Answering business queries in real-time
- Information driven Answers rather than guesswork
- Customer behaviour insights
- Cross-selling and up-selling opportunities based on customer behaviour and product performance
- Voice powered KPI reporting
- Analysis of Unstructured data to provide better customer experiences and much more
MBA in Business Analytics
An MBA in Business Analytics is just a traditional MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics providing the student with an enhanced understanding of Analytics along with the knowledge of other business functions. This gives the business analytics specialization MBA holder an edge over their peers in the technology and analytics fields.
Some of the special Courses offered under Business Analytics MBA are:
- Marketing Analytics
- Financial Analytics
- Business Statistics
- Applied Regression
- Forecasting and Modelling etc.
How it is different from MS in Business Analytics
Jobs for Business analytics ask for degrees either from master’s in business administration with a focus in business analytics or master’s in science on business analytics both have similar Requirements and course names like Big Data and Forecasting. But the difference is evident from the degree names as the focus of a Business Analytics MBA degree is in the application of the concepts and Business Analytics MS is much more technical.
So, a person hired with a business analytics MBA is expected to have strong statistics with a flair of business; they are not expected to do heavy coding as is expected from an MS. On the other hand, an MBA graduate’s performance is measured by the business impact and identifying areas for the business analytics transformation.
Job Market after MBA in Business Analytics
The job market was predicted as the sexiest job of the 21st Century by Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil in an article on HBR in 2012. 70% of the companies either have a digital transformation strategy or are planning to implement one soon. Majority of the fortune 500 MBA recruiters like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are asking for MBAs with knowledge of Business Analytics and its driving the trend of education having courses and specializations around the same. Also, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, there is a shortage of 1.5 Million analysts to make data-driven business decisions.
If you understand the Business world along with an interest in Statistics and mathematics, then you might consider pursuing an MBA in Business Analytics. A piece of final advice is to align your interests before pursuing any further education and try and learn as much in the next two years keeping in touch with the industry by the means of live projects and internships.