What is Business Analytics?
Perhaps you’ve considered a career as a business analyst, but you’re not sure what the job entails. If you’ve wondered, “what is business analytics,” this article is for you.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
A business analyst will study data, using statistical models and data mining to turn data into business insights. These insights will increase efficiency, productivity and revenue of the business.
Components of Business Analytics
There are many different components of business analytics including data aggregation, data mining, forecasting, predictive analytics, and statistical modeling.
As a business analyst, you will compile data with the intent to prepare datasets for statistical analysis. The phases involved in data aggregation including reporting, granularity, and polling. The reporting period involves how long the data will be collected. A data set will need to be collected in a timeframe that is statistically significant. Granularity is the time data points are set during the reporting period. Polling involves how often samples of data are collected. The data collection can include demographic and psychographic data. It can also include conversion and revenue data.
As a business analyst, you will use data mining to explore and analyze large data sets. This will help you discover patterns and rules in the data set. Different types of data can include relational databases, object-oriented databases, and web mining. Data mining starts with understanding the business and data that is needed to meet a goal. You will prepare the data to be modeled. Then you will evaluate the data to understand the steps to deployment.
There are a few different techniques in data mining. They include classification which is used to retrieve data information. This allows the data to be classified into different classes. Clustering is a type of data mining that helps the business analyst to understand the differences and similarities between the data. Association data mining identifies similarities between two or more data points. This helps discover patterns in the data set.
As a business analyst, you will need to predict demand and understand future trends with the help of past and present data. Forecasting is different than budgeting because you will help identify seasonality and anything that is unforeseen. When the actual data is not comparable to the forecast, the business analyst will know something has changed the demand or trends. This takes away the uncertainty by using historical data to predict the future.
There are a few different forecasting methods with the most prominent including qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative forecasting takes into consideration personal judgement as viewed by an expert. Quantitative forecasting on the other hand focuses on mathematics making it consistent and objective.
As a business analyst, you will use predictive analytics to extract information from data sets to determine patterns. These patterns will help predict the future outcomes that are expected. Predictive analytics works with the help of big data, data mining, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Predictive analytics will allow you to look into the future and be more accurate in revenue predictions.
Within business analytics, you will use statistical models with mathematical equations. Statistical models use explanatory and dependent variables. The dependent variable is the variable we want to describe and predict. The explanatory variable is the independent variable that is used to predict the dependent variables. Some common statistical models include linear nodes and logistic nodes. Linear regression models predict a trend based on the relationship between the target variable and the predictors. Logistic regression classifies records based on the value of the input fields.
Business Analytics Skills Required
Getting a business analytics degree allows you to learn skills that help you succeed in the business analysis field. These important skills include communication, managerial skills, technical skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking – all of which are learned while completing coursework and enhanced during on-the-job experience.
Much of your work as a business analyst will involve communication. From collaboration with colleagues to talking to clients, communication is a cornerstone skill for any business analyst. Written communication is key as much of the interaction will be digital. A business analyst will also need good verbal communication skills as some interactions are face-to-face. It is about what you say, why you say it, when you say it and what you don’t say. Key to communication is employing active listening skills. Know what is said, understanding the information and make sure the client is heard. Communication is important for a business analyst to master.
As a business analyst, you will manage many projects. You will also manage resources including teammates. Managing teammates requires leadership skills. Managerial skills include proper planning, execution and meeting deadlines. A good analyst will be able to keep schedules and control costs.
As a business analyst, you will use computers and data to make decisions that help businesses. You will need to be familiar with many different software programs that are used to analyze data and understand how to organize output that will present the knowledge in a way that adds to the businesses’ revenue.
Many times, a business analyst will be given a problem and need to solve it. Whether revenue is down, or a new service is being launched, you will need to follow a step by step process to find a solution. The process starts with the identification of the problem. You will need to understand the stakeholders and what they want from the data. Next, you will list all the possible solutions so you can remove the bad, keeping the good solutions. Evaluate each option and select a final option that meets all criteria identified. Finally, you decide how to monitor the success of the solution.
It is important for a business analyst to consider multiple solutions to the problem. This requires critical thinking skills. Part of critical thinking is the ability to analyze, be creative, stay open-minded and solve problems. It is important for you to make reasonable judgements that are logical and well-thought out.
What Can I Do with a Business Analytics Degree?
With a business analytics degree, you will be at the center of any business. It is up to you to manage data and predict the future of the business to keep it on track. You will also learn many different skills that will help you and the business succeed.
Ready to start a program to become a business analyst? Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics will help develop professionals who can create and analyze reports, drive strategies and decisions for data-driven businesses, and formulate solutions. Taught from current modeling techniques and software, this highly marketable degree will prepare you to manipulate, organize, and work with data in all forms all presented from a Christian worldview.
Upon completion of the B.S. in Business Analytics you will be able to conduct exploratory data analysis to distinguish between true and false patterns in data, increase customer satisfaction and revenue streams, use appropriate analytic tools that support organizational growth and achieve strategic objectives.
Use your mind for business to make a difference. Regent University’s admissions counselors are ready to answer questions and help you work through financial aid so you can move ahead in this promising field. Whether you’re ready to take the leap, or simply want some more information, you can reach them at 800.373.5504.