Jan 22, 2019

How to Start a Career in Business Analytics

Business analytics involves analyzing large amounts of statistical data to optimize operations, improve decision-making, and provide better services to customers. As such, it's an important part of the everyday operations of many different businesses. By gaining business analytics certification, you can enjoy a dynamic career in sectors from government to finance. Keep reading to find out what this field involves and how you can get the skills to find a job, from getting data analytics certification online to updating your current skills to meet the changing job market.

What Does Business Analytics Involve?

Business analytics is complex and involves many different processes. It requires the extraction of data through tracking or collection methods, statistical analysis through algorithms or cluster analysis and predictive processes. There are three main kinds of business analytics: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. Descriptive analytics tries to understand what is happening in the company and why it is happening. This can be helpful for the company's success. For example, if sales are low, a business needs to know why they are low before they can increase them. Predictive analytics involves forecasting trends, which can help a company adapt to changing forces in the market. Prescriptive analytics uses past situations to inform future events. After all, knowing the causes behind a situation can help a company avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

What Skills Are Involved in Business Analytics?

Problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication are essential in this career path. This is good news, as these are broad skills that you may already have under your belt. In addition, you should be able to use common software such as Microsoft Office. Experience with databases such as SQL and NoSQL and data visualization tools such as Tableau are also essential in this field, so be sure to get lots of hands-on experience in this area. Basic programming skills can be an asset, as modern business analytics often involves interpreting big data through algorithms.

How Can You Get Certified in Business Analytics?

You can find a wide range of descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics certificate programs. However, going the college route can be intimidating, especially if you are trying to balance your existing work with advancing your career. Udacity offers an excellent online alternative to traditional undergraduate and graduate certificates in data analytics. The Udacity Nanodegree program in business analytics lets you work at your own pace, so you can get hands-on experience after work. It has no prerequisite skills, so you can start learning concepts such as data analysis and visualization from scratch.

People with business backgrounds have the easiest time getting into the field of business analytics. So, if you're interested in this field, you may find it helpful to pick up some business skills as well. These include being familiar with how typical organizations work, negotiating with customers and suppliers, and communicating between different departments.