If you are looking to start a career in business analytics, then it’s important that you understand exactly what that job entails. What does it mean to work in business analytics? Well, let’s start with a simple definition:
Business analytics is a strategy used by businesses to collect raw data, store it, and then analyze that data. The overall goal of a business analyst is to transform raw data into useful information. However, since it’s not possible to manually go through raw data retrieved from hundreds of sources, analysts develop systems that are designed to automate the process.
A large business has already started to develop their internal processes around business analytics, so most major players require experts to help improve their efficiency.
Why Start a Career in Business Analytics?
There are several reasons why it’s appealing to get started down this career path, but the biggest one is that there is a big demand for business analysts and not enough supply. This means that there is not as much competition for the top jobs, as long as you have the proven skills to perform.
Another one is that you can specialize in a specific niche since business analytics is in high demand across all industries. So no matter what sector you want to work in, there are always going to be positions that need to be filled. This also presents an amazing opportunity for you to pad your resume since data analytics is such a dynamic field. This means that you will have a lot of challenges that you’ll overcome, and thus, your resume will showcase your unique skillset. This is something you can carry with you for a long time and opens up a whole new world of opportunities.
What Does Harvard Have to Say?
The most noteworthy piece of advice that I’ve seen from Harvard reviews is that businesses are looking for data analysts for much more than their data security needs (although that does play a big part), but they need to protect their decisions. In short, business owners that are not using data properly are at risk of making poor decisions. Data allows for decisions that have a smaller chance of being unwise. Some of the other notable factors from Harvard include:
- Data analysts perform at a higher rate than others because they are driven to succeed. Instead of saying, “it’s not possible,” they will say, “when do you need it done.”
- Data show businesses where they have specific problems. If left unchecked, these problems compound over time and will leak profits until they are fixed.
- Analysts must be fast as troubleshooting and be able to go through large amounts of data in a short amount of time.
McKinsey Global Institute Study on Data Analytics
This group carefully studied several different domains and had some interesting findings. For instance, it was discovered that certain retailers were capable of improving their operating margins by 60% or more. In the healthcare industry, big data can also improve their value by over $300 billion every year. These are huge numbers and should paint a picture as to why businesses cannot afford to ignore big data any longer.
How to Get Started with Your Career as a Business Analyst
The Research Optimus team has found that is one sure path to starting on a journey into the data analytics realm. Certain skills are going to be a requirement, so let’s look at a few of the requirements for getting hired. Companies are going to pay close attention to everything discussed here because they are required to meet the demands of data-centric businesses.
Experience is going to be the first thing a company looks at. Most businesses are going to set a Master’s Degree in business analytics as a prerequisite, but if you’re always well-established in the field, then that experience will trump everything else.
Business analysts are expected to have superb communication skills. They spend so much time communicating with different teams across a business that communication skills are a must! You’ll also be expected to communicate a lot virtually, not face-to-face.
Although business analysts are not technically running a company, they are still required to possess a managerial skill set. You must have the ability to plan and manage multiple projects while also supervising their progress to ensure they are being done efficiently. Many business analysts also have a budget that they need to meet, so they need to be aware of that as well.
They must have the technical skills to develop systems that are capable of analyzing large amounts of data. This includes the ability to troubleshoot.
Of course, data analysts must possess exceptional analytical skills that are not limited to data alone. They must be able to look at individual business processes, so they have an understanding of how everyone will be affected by their decisions.
They must also be confident enough to make big decisions and take responsibility for them. Nothing is less appealing than an individual who always deflects blame. Gather all of the information possible and then make a decision confidently. Always follow through and be prepared to admit mistakes so that you can adapt.
Critical thinking skills are a requirement since analysts are required to look at a problem from multiple perspectives. They must be able to filter the bad from the good before coming to a decision.
Business analysts must be able to adequately negotiate their position since they are often the bridge between developers and upper management. If a problem needs to be solved, then they must be able to present their solutions and sometimes, convince an entire board that it’s for the best.
To prepare for the future, data analytical programs are being updated to match our changing business landscape. Data is becoming more widespread than ever, and businesses are forced to adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Just remember that the journey to becoming a business analytics professional is a long-term journey that requires dedication and hard work.