Why You Should do a Masters in Business Analytics

Global Ed

It’s now more than evident that Big Data is integral to the success of most businesses. The future of businesses depends on analytics and data, and how organizations use this information to their advantage. And where there is data, there’s a need for analysing it and acting on it. This is where the role of a business analyst comes becomes critical.

Unsurprisingly, for the past few years, there’s been a steady rise in demand for people who have expertise in the field  – like Masters’s graduates with a clear understanding of data and analytics and the science behind decision-making.

If you have the technical skills, strategic bent of mind, and strong business acumen, then a Masters’s in Business Analytics may just be for you.

Here’s all you need to know about it and the reasons to choose a Business Analytics Degree.

Here’s what we’ll cover today…

  • What is Business Analytics?
  • Why do companies need business analytics?
  • What are the distinct fields of practice in business analytics?
  • How is Business Analytics different from Data Science?
  • What is a Master’s in Business Analytics?
  • Job opportunities after MBA in Business Analytics
  • The bottom line

What is Business Analytics?

Business Analytics primarily involves operations analysis, usage of optimization techniques, the formation of predictive models and final communication to all the stakeholders involved. The insight that a company derives on its performance serves as an asset, similar to securities. Business Analytics is well suited to contemporary times as it can even aid companies in automating processes and thus boosting efficiency.

Why do companies need business analytics?

Business analytics helps companies in influencing customer decisions in real-time.  Also the set of actions that a business takes needs to be based on concrete facts, which are derived from data. This data also provides valuable insights into user behaviour, which, in turn helps in leveraging opportunities.

The “data-driven” companies pride themselves in being agile, surviving stiff competition and getting work done with minimal errors in an optimum turn-around time. There is a huge investment involved in collecting high-quality data and this increases the need for people who are qualified in Business Analytics.

What are the distinct fields of practice in business analytics?

Primarily, business analytics covers two distinct fields of practice – Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics.

Business Intelligence

The practice of utilizing Business Intelligence to derive at well-informed decisions is not new. When Henry Ford, America’s pioneering car-maker, introduced the assembly line, he studied the time taken by each of his staff members in automobile manufacturing, to adjust the processes accordingly. This “intelligence’ helped him revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Business Intelligence traces the performance of a company or a specific department over a period to determine trends. Online Analytics Processing, querying, and reporting are some examples of the same.

Advanced Analytics

As compared to Business Intelligence, Advanced Analytics is a relatively newer practice and is more specialized than the former. It employs statistical methods to make predictions. For instance, it can determine (or measure) how a new website design would influence customer behaviour. Since it is a relatively new field, companies specifically look for those who have a Masters in Business Analytics for tasks such as simulation algorithms, cluster analysis and data mining.

How is Business Analytics different from Data Science?

Though Business Analytics and Data Science draw parallels in finding insights and making informed choices, they are not the same. Yet, the students need to have an analytical bent of mind with a flair for maths and sciences and statistical and computer tech skills to excel in both the fields.

Data Science is a broader term than Business Analytics. Besides, gathering, organizing and studying data for companies to make better decisions, it also involves academic research. They are the frontline workers when it comes to the data analysis process. Data Scientists design algorithms for data collection. One needs in-depth knowledge of multiple programming languages, and a foundational grasp of mathematics to make a career in this field.

On the other hand, business analytics is a more applied field. It utilizes raw data to solve business problems and improve a company’s competitive ends. Ultimately, Business Analysts aim to boost the efficiency of the operations of a company. Unlike Data Scientists, Business Analysts deal with more structured data and work on business analysis software.

Though there are many job postings which require candidates to have the skills for both – Data Scientists as well as Business Analysts – these two are distinct terms which should never be used interchangeably. Understanding the differences will go a long way in helping you make the best decision for yourself.

What is a Masters in Business Analytics?

MBA in Business Analytics is a holistic degree which covers the technical aspects of the domain as well as the business fundamentals, management practices, and communication and leadership skills.

If an applied approach to data attracts you, an MBA in Business Analytics can be the right launch pad for your career. According to a U.S News and World Report published in 2016, an MBA gives students an edge over their peers.

Some of the classes that a core MBA includes are

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Marketing and International Business
  • Ethics and Leadership
  • Operations and Human Resources
  • Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

Specialization in Business Analytics will help you in leading  business decisions in the light of relevant data. This course gives students hands-on training in the best business analytics practices. You might also get to work on a full-fledged project with real-world data.

Some of the classes that Business Analytics degree studies will include are:

  • Spreadsheet and Forecast modelling
  • Accounting, Marketing and Financial Analytics
  • Business Statistics and Analytics Strategy
  • Applied Regression and Data Mining
  • Principles of Management Science

Internships offer students an edge when it comes to the best job opportunities.

If you are a working professional who wants to pursue a Masters in Business Analytics, you can opt for the online courses offered by the best universities. The curriculum is more or less the same, and so is the faculty teaching it.

Moreover, you can work towards it at your own pace. Cohort programs also offer the advantage of a professional network. The classes are designed in such a way that students start the course together and also graduate at the same time. They collaborate on projects remotely and connect over virtual conferences forging cordial relations.

Best universities in the world for a Masters in Business Analytics according to QS Rankings 2020

S.No. University Name Location
1 MIT (Sloan) U.S.A
2 UCLA (Anderson) U.S.A
3 ESSEC/Centrale Supelec France
4 Texas (McCombs) U.S.A
5 Imperial College Business School U.K
6 USC (Marshall) U.S.A
7 ESADE Spain
8 Manchester (Alliance) U.K
9 Warwick U.K
10 University of Edinburgh Business School U.K

A Master’s in India is a two-year-long postgraduate program. To be eligible for the same, you should have a minimum of 50% score in the qualifying exam of any recognized university and a bachelor’s degree. Qualifying any of the National Eligibility tests like CAT, GMAT, etc. is also essential.

After earning a Masters degree in Business Analytics, you may choose to pursue opportunities in any of the three fundamental Analytical domains.

Descriptive Analysis

Descriptive Analysts use data to study both the past as well as the present. They offer solutions to past business problems and also design future business solutions.

Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysts study the past problems of a business organization. By observing trends, they don’t just offer solutions for the present problems but also provide ways to prevent the problems in future.

Prescriptive Analysis

Prescriptive Analysts offer ways to optimize and enhance the performance of companies in future as well as the present. Their efficiency boosts the annual returns of companies.

Job opportunities after MBA in Business Analytics

There is an ever-growing demand for professionals with a Masters in Business Analytics. They can work across a wide range of sectors and perform a wide range of roles. Graduates are employed in IT and manufacturing companies, e-commerce companies, telecom companies, transportation companies, consultancies, and even start-ups. The opportunities depend on an individual’s skillset and work experience.

Data Analysts

Data Analysts use their technical expertise to collect data related to sales, market research, and logistics accurately and present it more coherently. Their functional enables companies to make more informed decisions. However, their day-to-day role differs across industries. They work in sync with data scientists, IT teams and the management to determine and achieve the organizational goals.

Supply Chain Analysts

Their core function is to improve the efficiency of end-to-end operations. By studying the requirements of a project and communicating it to the team, supply chain analysts reduce the operational costs and improve productivity. They collaborate with engineers and quality assurance professionals to check new supply chain methods. They also oversee the inventory and ensure that it is at the optimal level at all times.

Big Data Analyst

Big Data Analysts identify, collect, analyse and finally communicate the data that helps businesses in making better decisions. Problem-solving skills, the ability to work well under critical situations and creative reasoning are crucial skills to become a Big Data Analyst. They work with unknown data, patterns, and hidden trends and need to be skilled at programming, data interpretation, data mining and auditing for the same.

Business Analysts

Business Analysts evaluate the changing needs of a business and the impact that these changes would have on the business decisions. Subsequently, they also analyse the requirements and communicate the same to all the stakeholders involved. It has now become a core practice in the IT and manufacturing sector.

Predictive Modeller

Predictive modeller design programs that make predictions based on the data that is fed to them. This field requires intricate knowledge about statistics, technology, and analysis. It is a new field and is sure to rise in future.

Technical Team Lead

Technical Team Leads are in charge of the technical teams in an organization. They ensure the smooth functioning of the team, the best quality of the products and the right delivery of the items. Besides technical skills, this domain also requires one to have excellent leadership and managerial skills.

The bottom line

Business Analysis is a booming area of study which is only set to rise further. In a world driven and defined by technology, data and its application will become the key differentiator of success among organizations. If your interests lean towards both business and analysis, it is the right choice for you. You will be part of a dynamic, growing field with no dearth of opportunities.

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