By Michael Feder
Business analytics involves using statistics and data to gain insights about operations and strategies. Business analysts are experts who gather, organize and interpret data. The overall goal of this analysis is to improve business operations and decision-making.
Business analysts can use four different approaches to their work. If you are interested in this field, it is important to understand these IT terms and the methods they describe.
A career in business analytics is an attractive option for someone with math and computer skills, or for people who are interested in business and are pursuing a degree in IT. Business analytics is currently a growing field and qualified IT professionals are in high demand.
A business analyst works with data related to their employer’s industry, operations and finances. In this career, your duties may vary from employer to employer. Some professionals focus on one area, while others have a broader focus. Here are some typical tasks of a business analyst:
Business analysts in senior positions also usually manage other analysts and IT employees and delegate tasks.
Business analysts can work in a variety of industries. Many professionals in this field work in-house as part of the data analytics or IT department, but there are other positions available, as well.
Because data-driven decision-making is becoming more common, more and more companies are looking for qualified business analysts to work in-house.
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Business analysts need both technical and soft skills to succeed. If this is your chosen career path, you can develop your abilities during your undergraduate studies and hone them during internships or in an entry-level analytics position.
Here is a closer look at the skills that business analysts need.
Depending on your duties and where you work, you may need industry-specific knowledge to help interpret data in a useful way.
Business analysts need technical skills and the ability to apply them to solve real-world problems. You need a solid foundation and, in some cases, professional certification to qualify for entry-level jobs.
You can start on the career path of a business analyst by earning an undergraduate degree. Several options can enhance your preparation for this career. One of the most common is a Bachelor of Science in Business. You can also earn a Bachelor of Science in Management. Both these options will give you a strong base for developing your analytical skills.
In general, business-related bachelor’s degrees provide the basic knowledge necessary to move into a variety of business careers, including analytics.
You can start specializing during your undergraduate studies by taking courses in project management. At some universities, you can even earn a professional certificate in project management.
Finally, success in exams can help you advance your studies and qualify for important internships or analytics-related master’s degree programs. Therefore, preparing for tests is essential regardless of your chosen degree program.
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Certifications and licenses are not necessary to get an entry-level position in business analytics. However, getting a certification can help you show your expertise in a specific area or show a general commitment to this career path.
Here are some common certifications for business analysts.
Some employers may offer you a chance at certifications as part of their career development offerings.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects data on several professions related to business analytics. According to data from May 2020, operations research analysts earned between $48,050 and $144,330 annually, and management analysts, between $50,990 and $156,840.
The salary of a business analyst depends on professional experience, degree level, knowledge of specific analysis methods, and other technical skills. Location and the size of the company may also affect salary.
Business analysts are in high demand in many fields. The BLS projects that demand for operations research analysts may grow by 25% between 2020 and 2030. Management analysts might see 14% growth over the same period.
As more companies rely on data-driven decision-making and data collection in online commerce becomes more commonplace, analysts who can interpret and organize this data will be in very high demand.
If you have an analytical mind and enjoy working with data, mathematics and numbers, a business analyst could be a good career for you. It would also help if you had an interest in business and knowledge of the industry in which your company operates.
If your interests match with this career, you can start the process by selecting the right college for your educational needs. Choosing the best program is essential because it will provide you with the basic skills you need to successfully launch your career in business analytics.
Interested in pursuing your degree online, but not sure if you can do it? Read 8 ways to succeed in online college classes, where we cover some helpful tips, so you can learn successfully online!
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