Understanding Data: A Guide on Business Analytics and Data Science

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Here’s an age-old urban legend about Data Science and Analytics.

Many years ago (sometime in the 90s) Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is said to have discovered that at certain times in a week, beer and diapers sold well together. This was usually on Friday evenings when men went to supermarkets to get beer (to stock up for the weekend) and their wives called them asking them to get some diapers too (probably to stock up for the weekend too!).

And Walmart managed to track this odd customer behaviour and made the connection, with the generous help of Data Science. The retailer then decided to stack the two items close to each other. Odd as that might have seemed, it helped the sales go up dramatically.

Legend or myth, this is often cited as an example of customer analytics and the importance of analyzing data.

Here’s another (not a myth this one) – about the possible relationship between a mathematician and fighter planes?

If this interests you, then you may want to think about studying Business Analytics and Data Science. We look at one university that’s offering great programmes that bring together the two fields.

EU-Business school – combining best of both the fields

If you want to pursue these fields, then it’s important to understand what these two fields are, and also choose a university based on course offerings.

Very quickly, let’s understand what the two are.

Studying business analytics helps you to create insights for businesses, interpret and visualize data, understand business statistics, and develop business models that influence organisations positively. Studying data science, on the other hand, helps one to develop technical skills including programming, machine learning, and also improves mathematical skills.

As it turns out, becoming a business analyst after studying data science might actually be a possibility but the vice versa of this may not be true. The great thing is that institutions like EU-Business school have understood this, and have been providing a program that brings together the best of both fields.

Here are the details.

For those interested in pursuing a career in either field, the EU-Business school offers a Masters in Business Analytics and Data Science program across their Barcelona, Geneva and Montreux campuses.

EU-Business school’s year-long master’s program is acclaimed for its highly inspiring and qualified academics, entrepreneurs, consultants, and business leaders. The degrees are awarded by Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) and EU Business School Switzerland, which is internationally accredited. With personalized and interactive learning environments, EU-Business school offers a one-of-a-kind program that enables students to become successful business analysts and data scientists. Set in the beautiful cities of Barcelona, Geneva and Montreux, the institutions offer students the opportunity to explore outstanding intergovernmental organisations, financial institutions, and the headquarters of multinational companies.

Regular interactions are held with global industry leaders so that they can provide insights about their experience to students who are looking for the right career opportunities. With a clear-cut vision for excellence, EU Business school has designed the master’s program to give students a strong foundation in data science and business analytics while also giving them practical knowledge on how to use cutting-edge tools that are being employed in the industry today.

Now, let’s look a little in detail and understand the two better.

Data Science and Business Analytics: Are they the same?

Data Science is a multidisciplinary field that consists of statistics, mathematics, and computer science which are used in tandem to produce results that explain what a certain set of data means. Its application is not tied down to a particular field.

One example of “data science” that has been recounted numerous times and which shows the importance of reading data in a meaningful manner is that of Abraham Wald and the warplanes. When experts looked at the airplanes that returned from the warfield, they began to suggest ways to armour the planes wherever they were most prone to get hit, by looking at the bullet holes and damages. However, Abraham Wald understood that the planes that returned with damages were not the ones they should be looking at. Instead, he realised that they should be armouring the other areas of the planes since those that got hit on the other surfaces never made it back from the warfield.

Business Analytics, on the other hand, makes use of predictive analysis, data mining, and other techniques in order to derive meaningful insights so that businesses can depend on this information to understand trends, possible outcomes and to make informed decisions that help the businesses to grow.

How the two fields differ is in the way they are utilized. Data science tries to find patterns in any general concept and builds patterns to show how and why a certain thing behaves the way it does.

Business analytics, on the other hand, is designed specifically to cater to business and organisational requirements. It is used to help businesses in understanding their markets, stock, predicting trends, and customer response to products. In the end, the difference between the two fields comes down to what their applications are.

Career Opportunities

There are many prospective careers one will be qualified for with a degree in business analytics and/or data science. Organisations are always on the lookout for ways to improve the way they interact with clientele or to try and understand how a market would work in their favour. The roles listed below are some of the most sought after in the field of business analytics and data science.

  • Data Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Statistician
  • Data Architect

Many organisations require business analysts and data scientists to help them understand business trends and to understand what the data seems to be pointing at. Some of the most popular organisations that hire those with a background in either of these fields include Accenture, IBM, Google, Facebook, Deloitte, American Express, Splunk, NVIDIA, Salesforce, Adobe, MuSigma, and CloudEra, among many others.

What’s Next?

Those interested in a career in the fields of business analytics and data science must focus on understanding statistics, learning different programming languages and analytical tools such as PowerBI, Qlik, and Tableau, improving critical thinking, and working on real-world problems that can be solved using analytical tools. With many institutions and universities such as the EU Business school offering programs that have stood the test of time, it will not be hard for one to find their way rather quickly.

The time to become a data scientist or a business analyst is always, now.

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