What is Business Analytics

Successful businesses depend on Business Analytics. Gone are the days when businesses simply used data to report their performance. For businesses to survive and flourish amidst tough competition, they need to do more. Business Analytics steps in right here.

It has reshaped how organizations analyze past data using statistical tools and techniques. This analysis helps them to draw insights for making decisions. Quite understandably, therefore, data-driven companies treat their data as a valuable asset and proactively explore ways and means to leverage this asset to gain a competitive advantage.

In addition, they use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to predict future performance and implement solutions.

However, it is important to note that success with business analytics depends on the following factors:

  • Quality of data used
  • Availability of competent analysts
  • Organization’s commitment to making data-driven decisions

Different types of Business Analytics

There are mainly four types of Business Analytics. Let us learn about each type in detail:

Descriptive Analytics

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This form of Business Analytics uses the organization’s past and current data. It applies data aggregation and data mining techniques to summarize the collected data and understand the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

Therefore, this tool proves effective for providing insight into customer behaviour and helps marketing executives and sales managers frame appropriate marketing strategies.

Let us break down Descriptive Analytics into the following steps to understand it better

  • Identifying KPIs: Use Key Performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the organization’s performance against business objectives
  • Identifying data requirements: Decide the various sources from which data should be collected to understand the current state of the business
  • Collecting and preparing data: Collect the data from the identified sources and then prepare the data using various processes – depublication, transformation and cleansing. These processes help get the data ready for use. In other words, the data is now structured.
  • Analysing data: Next, study this structured data to find trends and patterns that help measure the organization’s performance around the KPIs.
  • Presenting data: Draw insights from the data to present it in the form of intuitive charts and graphs. These visual elements, in turn, present ready-to-consume information, particularly helpful for non-analytics experts.

Diagnostic Analytics

As the name suggests, this form of analytics helps shift focus from “What is happening” to “Why it is happening?”. It makes this possible using techniques like drill-down, data discovery, data mining and correlations to identify the factors influencing the trends. In other words, just like a doctor, it helps diagnose the cause of the illness.

Important to note that Diagnostic Analytics uses probabilities and likelihoods to understand why events may occur. This form of Analytics also employs techniques such as sensitivity analysis and training algorithms for the classification and regression of data.

Finally, it is this form of data that helps to gain valuable insights into business in the fields of Marketing, Finance, Cybersecurity, etc.

Predictive Analytics

True to its name, the objective of this form of Business Analytics is to study current data trends and predict future outcomes. Based on probability, it uses techniques such as Data Mining, Statistical Modelling and Machine Learning algorithms to forecast the possible outcomes and likelihood of future events.

It is this ability to predict future outcomes that is extremely effective in improving the efficiency of the business by strengthening customer services, detecting and preventing fraud, and managing risks.

Interestingly, it is the competency of business analysts to develop powerful prediction models is what sets organizations apart from their competitors.

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive Analytics studies past performance to prescribe recommendations to handle similar situations in the future.

This form uses Statistics and Machine Learning algorithms together with other techniques and tools to provide information about possible situations and suggest the best course of action. It also helps make short-term as well as long-term decisions.

Prescriptive Analytics, therefore, forms the backbone of any organization as it explores new markets for business expansion.

Is Business Analytics a promising career?

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Certified Python Business Analyst (CPBA) course is a focused 32-hours instructor-led training and certification program that equips participants to explore+analyze+solve business problems using popular analytics tools such as Python & Advanced Excel.

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Having gained a brief overview of Business Analytics one obvious question that comes to mind is the career prospect of this budding practice. The good news is that business analysts continue to be in rising demand as organizations continue to adopt emerging technologies such as Cloud Computing and Machine Learning,

The growing popularity of digital channels and innovations across retail, education and health care sectors further fuels the burgeoning demand for business analysts.

In addition, organizations are growing increasingly aware that business analysts can:

  • Catalyse transformations to digital operations
  • Transform loads of unstructured data to structured information to aid effective decision-making
  • Ease the transitions so crucial for seamless change management

Therefore, Business Analysts are now playing a pivotal role in enabling powerful business decisions and strategies. Consequently, they are emerging as a breed that can help organizations increase productivity, streamline business processes, and improve the bottom line.

One interesting study by IBM reveals that 39% of job postings in Data Science and Advanced Analytics require that applicants should possess at least a Master’s Degree. Hopefully, that adequately explains the bright prospects of this emerging career.

Why are Business Analysts in demand?

Business Analytics has several components that work together to provide business insights for business strategists. While these components start with crunching data and end with gaining insights for decision-making, there is a standard workflow process.

At this point, it is important to note that business analysts contribute to each step of the process and that’s what makes them indispensable players in any organization. To be able to appreciate their contribution, let us study each step of the workflow in detail:

Data collection

Data comes from IoT devices, applications, spreadsheets, or social media. Irrespective of the data source, consolidate and store the data at a centralized location for access by relevant users. Keep in mind that you can simplify this process of consolidating and storing data using a Cloud database.

Data mining

Once data is collected, store it in a data lake. Next, organize and process the data for easy understanding. At this point, you can use Machine Learning algorithms to convert unstructured data to structured data. These algorithms easily recognize patterns and repeatable actions. As a result, data scientists can focus on deriving meaningful insights from the data rather than get bogged down with manual logistical tasks.

Descriptive analytics

The next step is to apply Descriptive Analytics. This helps us gain insight into the story behind the data.

Predictive analytics

It is now time to use business analytics tools to build predictive models based on trends and historical performance. Important to note that you arrive at future decisions to shape organization goals and business strategies by virtue of these models.

Visualization and reporting

Now, to aid decision makers with the inferences drawn by applying the Business Analytics tools, we need intuitive graphs, reports, and dashboards. In fact, these are the visual aids that enable business leaders to visualize the future and steer the organization towards fulfilling the business goals and objectives.

Excited to pursue this lucrative career?

Well, then go through the details of the top 3 online courses listed below and select the one that suits you best.

Online Business Analytics Courses to help you get started

1. Business Analytics Certification Course Training with R

About the institute

Established in 2013, Henry Harvin operates across 11+ cities in US, India, and UAE. Powered by a team of 400+ employees and 650+ consultants, the institute offers 400+ upskilling and reskilling training programs across 27+ categories.

Understandably, therefore, by virtue of these training programs, Henry Harvin has trained 3,00,000+ individuals and is a registered corporate training vendor.

About the Course

This course aims to:

  • Prepare you to make analysis-based business decisions that help you enhance the company’s productivity and profitability
  • Familiarize you with industry best practices for Data Measurement and Analysis
  • Equip you to make goal-driven business strategies
  • Train you to make data-driven decisions and implement them to increase the company’s RoI

The curriculum is carefully curated to train you on Analytics as well as R. As a bonus, you get two free modules to prepare yourself for an entry into the Business Analytics job market.

Following is the list of modules:

  • Analytics
  • Introduction to R Programming
  • Data Structures & Operators
  • Data Management
  • Apply Functions in R
  • Aggregate and Table Functions
  • Data Manipulation in R
  • Graphs
  • Advanced Graphs
  • Linear Regression, Classification, and Analysis
  • Complementary Module 1 – Soft Skills Development
  • Complementary Module 2 – Resume Writing

Interestingly, this course is not just a theoretical session. Instead, you also get:

  • Access to e-learning portal loaded with video recordings, presentations, case studies etc.
  • Internship opportunity with Henry Harvin or its partner firms
  • Regular notifications on job opportunities
  • Support in clearing interviews with startups and top corporates

2. Wharton’s Business Analytics Specialization

About the Institute

Established in 1881 by American industrialist and entrepreneur Joseph Wharton, the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania is a premier institution. Over the last 135 years, it continues to play a pivotal role in transforming the landscape of business practices and education.

Since 2015, Wharton Online is credited with the issue of more than 200,000 certificates to students across the globe.

About the Course

This course is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of big data analytics to all learners. This means, it works equally well for professionals as well as freshers. The course contains five modules listed below:

Customer Analytics

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Learn to collect data on customer behaviour
  • Use tools to collect data for predicting customer patterns
  • Analyze customer data to help business users arrive at strategic decisions
Operations Analytics

In this module, you will learn to:

  • Model uncertainties in future demand
  • Predict the outcome of proposed policy changes
  • Select the course of action that optimizes the usage of organization resources
People Analytics

This module is designed to help you:

  • Use data to make decisions about talent acquisition and development
  • Play a key role in the organization’s talent management decisions
Accounting Analytics

This module prepares you to:

  • Understand how financial and non-financial data interact to forecast future events
  • Use the forecasts to make strategic decisions that optimally use organization resources

Finally, the last module offers you the opportunity to work on a capstone project. Here, you get a flavor of real-life problems. As you progress through the project, you apply the knowledge and skills gained during the preceding modules to solve these problems. In other words, upon successful completion of the project, you are better prepared to make data-driven decisions that boost the organization’s revenue and performance.

3. Introduction to Business Analytics 2022

About the institute

Started in 2010, Udemy is a leading Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform catering to students and professionals across the globe. In reality it offering of a huge bouquet of courses in 75 languages makes Udemy popular amongst students trying to upskill themselves for career enhancements. The huge pool of corporate trainers particularly helps to curate the course curriculum to suit the requirements of working professionals.

About the Course

This course aims to train you on the fundamentals of Business Analytics so that you can apply the principles in any business environment, particularly in organizations working with complex business processes.

Some of the key takeaways of the project are as follows:

  • Understanding of process mapping
  • Identification of key performance metrics and value-drivers
  • Familiarity with business analytics techniques
  • Knowledge of conducting various forms of data analysis
  • Insight into the way successful business analytics projects are delivered

In addition, you get access to:

  • Prompt Q&A support
  • Course Notes
  • Quizzes and exercises
  • Certificate of completion

This course is designed intelligently to suit professionals as well as young learners and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Apart from selecting the best course that can groom you into a successful business analyst, it will be interesting to know the important skills that you should possess. Let us examine some of the key skills in detail

Skills Needed for Business Analytics

Communication

To draw inferences from data, that few others can understand, writing and presentation skills become crucial. In reality, these are the skills that help you present your insights to business users and empower them to make effective business decisions.


Problem Solving

You deal with loads of data to which you apply a combination of logical thinking, predictive analytics, and statistics. It is because the purpose is to make recommendations that offer solutions to problems and drive a business forward. Therefore, in this profession that seeks to transform data into solutions, being a problem solver helps connect the dots.

Analytical

The key to becoming a successful Business Analyst is to possess strong analytical skills. These skills help you not only in data mining but also in data crunching to arrive at meaningful insights.

SQL

In-depth knowledge of SQL is a powerful tool for analysts. This is because writing smart SQL queries helps you extract the relevant data from the transactions database and analyze the same. The analysis helps you draw powerful insights. The SQL knowledge further assists you in developing impactful visuals. You present these visuals to business users to aid effective decision-making.

Statistics

You gain an added advantage if you possess knowledge in either of the two languages – R for statistical analysis and Python for general programming. It is important to note, however, that ability to write code is not mandatory for this profession but is good to have. 

Apart from the above languages, you can apply your knowledge of statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and even Excel to manage and analyze data.

Once you possess the knowledge and skills needed to make a confident entry into this lucrative career, it is worth understanding the job profile of a Business Analyst.

Business Analyst Job Description

Though there are many different aspects to the role, business analysts are generally expected to gather data, analyze data, and present solutions to business problems. It is then necessary to implement these solutions to drive the organization towards higher productivity, improved efficiency and a healthier bottom line. The job profile of a business analyst, can, therefore, be summarized as follows:

  • Liaise with business users to understand business needs
  • Engage closely with relevant stakeholders to understand the nature of the service or product provided
  • Run surveys, workshops, and tests to gather business requirements
  • Collect data to suit data analysis requirements
  • Analyze and model data to draw inferences
  • Propose suggestions and solutions to address strategic and operational changes
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of these suggestions
  • Design systems or processes required to implement these changes or modify existing systems
  • Present recommendations to senior management about changes required in the business landscape
  • Prepare reports for relevant stakeholders to gain their buy-in for the changes
  • Provide support to users to facilitate the implementation of the proposed solutions
  • Determine if the changes deliver the desired results

You now have a fair idea about Business analytics, its career prospects and what you do to perform the role of a business analyst.

But how does the career progress? Let us try to get an answer to this question…

Business Analytics Career Path

If you possess a strong IT background, your career path can take you to the role of a Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Programme Manager, and finally Senior Programme Manager. 

If your business management skills are as strong as your technical expertise, you can grow to the position of senior business analyst and eventually become a business consultant.

Therefore, if you are a talented IT Business Analyst, companies greatly value your expertise in both technology and business. Hence, your job prospects are extremely bright, and you can scale great heights in your career. 

Another good news is that a Business Analyst is in demand across all departments for Financial analysis, Marketing analysis, Sales analysis, Human Resources etc. In other words, you can excel in this career irrespective of your background.

So, go ahead and make the fullest use of the rich potential of this promising career.

To make the final decision on taking up this career path, I am sure you must be curious to know the average salary figures. Let us try to satisfy your curiosity…

Business Analyst Salary

The salary of a Business Analyst in India with less than 1 year of experience to 9 years ranges from ₹ 3 Lakhs to ₹ 15 Lakhs, with an average annual salary of ₹ 7 Lakhs. These salary estimates are based on the data of 68.3k salaries received from Business Analysts across industries.

Business Analytics in a Nutshell

In this post, we have attempted to present an overview of Business Analytics along with the prospects of pursuing a career as a Business Analyst. Additionally, we have presented the current business trends to prove that there is a rising demand for Business Analysts. So, once you possess the necessary skills and knowledge, it will be a smart decision to take up this promising career.

To gain entry into this rewarding career, explore the online courses outlined in this post and get started.

In essence, this field is at a nascent stage. This means the market is flooded with exciting job offers. Grab one of them and start without any delay.

Exploring some good reads as well as enrolling on online courses can further aid you in grooming yourself as a successful Business Analyst.

Recommended Reads

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Business Analytics?

Business Analytics is the practice of studying data to analyze trends, predict future outcomes, and enable data-driven decision-making by business users to fulfill desired business objectives.

2. What are the different types of Business Analytics?

There are four different types of Business Analytics: Descriptive Analytics, Diagnostic Analytics, Predictive Analytics, and Prescriptive Analytics

3. Is SQL important for Business Analytics?

Yes, knowledge of SQL is important for business analysts as they need to work with huge volumes of data and relational databases. Running pertinent SQL queries also helps them extract the necessary data for analytics.

4. Is Python important for Business Analytics?

It is god to know Python because the knowledge of a programming language is important for business analysts.

5. Is Business Analytics a good career choice?

Promising salary, a wide variety of job options, and work-life balance make Business Analytics a smart career choice. Moreover, a business analyst enjoys limitless freedom to pick up any role of his/her choice

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