How to Prepare for a Career in Business Analytics?

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Analytics has been one of the most popular words in the job market for the couple of years. When a term becomes trendy it often gets used in wrong places. The first thing to do, therefore, is to get a very clear view of the true meaning Business Analytics and let us not confuse Business Analytics with role of Business Analyst, which is prevalent in IT and software domain for couple of decades. In true sense role of business analyst is to coordinate between the product / software/ solution development team and the client, where client could be external or an internal. Hence the role of Business Analyst doesn’t have to much to do with data analytics.

Business analytics is the process of assessing and analysing data to find actionable business insights. As you may guess, there are two principal aspects to a business analyst’s job role. As the name suggests the business analyst has to be good with business as well as data. So if you choose to become a business analyst, you are looking at something quite different from business intelligence and data analytics.

Understanding the discipline

Business intelligence involves collecting and storing data that may be relevant for the company. Data analysts can be hired for this job. Big data management can thus become a part of business intelligence. Business analytics takes things one step ahead. A business analyst statistically analyzes the available data and puts into the data to decision framework. Insights are generated by business analysis, insights that can influence the decisions taken by the organizations.

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Business analysts engage in predictive as well as prescriptive analytics unlike the business intelligence professionals.

Key skills to possess

A business analyst needs a multidisciplinary skill set like most important analytics jobs. A few essential skills needed to become a business analyst are listed below.

  • Basic to intermediate knowledge of tools like Excel, SQL, SAS and R/ Python
  • Statistical Analysis and knowledge of predictive modelling is an advantage
  • Data visualization skills using tools like Tableau
  • Business domain knowledge
  • Interpersonal skills

The skill requirement might definitely vary with companies. This leads us to the next point.

Choosing the niche

Analytics has grown to become an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of different aspects of a business as well as of the audience. You need to search for a job that actually suits your background and work experience. Also a lot of job posts use the terms big data and business analytics interchangeably. This is not a great practice. You as a candidate must be aware of such job roles.

Right now there are around 8,000 jobs for business analysts in India, according to a job portal. A lot of these jobs actually involve the job done by business intelligence professionals or a data analyst.

It is important that you make a comparative study of the job profiles with your own resume and find the most suitable option for yourself. A business analytics certification will help you get hired for a suitable role.

Gaining domain knowledge

Work of Business analysts may have access to the ears of the top management. They can influence crucial business decisions. Therefore domain knowledge is of impeccable essence. You can work as an intern at some firm in order to grow the business acumen. People coming from a business background can easily make a move into this.

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A business analytics certification course helps you prepare for the shift in your career. You can learn to use the analytical tools, the data to decision framework and sharpen your business acumen. The career options are many for those who are prepared.