October 7, 2022 3:32 pm
Business Analytics Hard

Business Analytics Hard

The life of any business in this era lies in the way in which they leverage the data available to them to make decisions and explore opportunities for business growth and profitability. No successful business can thrive on intuition in a data-driven world, as this is a big risk. Data analytics helps businesses understand their operations, customer behavior, and the business environment in which they operate. Further, an enterprise can rely on data-driven decisions to steer their operations yet, without data quality and integrity, alongside professional analysts who are competent enough to crunch this data, the insights and information contained in their data will not be of much value.  

The business analytics field is concerned with the practices and technologies used continuously and iteratively to explore data while leveraging historical business performance to gain insight for solving present business problems and formulating effective business strategies. Business analytics involves using statistical analysis, models, and other quantitative techniques to crunch data and draw useful insights for business growth and profitability. For this reason, if you intend to pursue a business analytics course, opt for one that will help you grow your knowledge and understanding of various data exploration, statistical analysis, and reporting techniques for data-driven strategic decision-making. 

What are the requirements for pursuing business analytics?  

Business analytics fundamentally involves interpreting information from data to make informed business decisions and implement these decisions into business processes. To pursue a career in business analytics, you need the following requirements. 

  • Educational qualifications 

Most recruiters have a bachelor’s degree with a computer science, management, or commerce background as the basic educational qualification for the business analytics role. With a bachelor’s degree in computer science, process engineering, MBA, commerce, finance, accounting, economics, or other relevant qualifications, you should qualify to pursue business analytics. This is because these qualifications train learners in analytical processes which is critical in business analytics. 

However, some individuals with vast experience in the field have landed roles without a relevant degree. This could be through business analytics courses and certifications, internships, projects, and other self- and structured learning forms. 

The bottom line is to demonstrate to your prospective employer that you possess the required domain knowledge and have what it takes to drive results in the business analyst capacity. 

  • Skills 

As a business analyst, your sole responsibility will be to extract insights from data, interpret the insights for others to understand, and translate them into actionable decisions. A business analyst should have the right combination of the following skills. 

Technical skills 

  • Statistical analysis and math 
  • Microsoft Excel 
  • SQL and relational databases 
  • Programming knowledge 
  • Requirements engineering 
  • Business acumen
  • Process modeling  
  • Data visualization 
  • Excellent communication 
  • Critical thinking and logical reasoning 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Facilitation and negotiation skills
  • Curious mind 

What does a business analyst do? 

At the very basic, your role as a business analyst is to use various data analytics techniques to extract useful insights and information from data that will inform decision-making and strategic planning. In simple terms, you inform profitable change in business operations. 

Your role as a business analyst entails: 

  • Evaluating current business processes to identify and prioritize functional and technical requirements to recommend a change to improve the processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs. 
  • Evaluating business processes after change implementation to analyze business efficiency 
  • Performing variance and financial analysis 
  • Using tools like SQL, Tableau, and Excel to analyze data 
  • Visualizing data in charts, maps, graphs, tables, and others  
  • They create process, financial, use case, and business analysis models among others, to support decision-making. 
  • Support in planning enterprise architecture 
  • Conducting education and training to stakeholders and system users

Is business analytics hard?  

Business analytics may or may not be hard. How hard business analytics is relative. 

The business analytics process is a 7-step process that entails defining business requirements, data exploration, data analysis, predicting outcomes, optimizing the best possible solution, decision-making, and evaluation of outcomes. The business analysis process involves the use of a broad spectrum of tools, techniques, and technologies, including data exploration, data mining, data modeling, computational programming, prescriptive analytics, predictive analytics, descriptive analytics, and cloud computing. 

As a professional, you are required to identify and prioritize business problems, come up with the right toolset to solve the problem and deliver practical solutions. You should have a knack for crunching numbers, the curiosity to detect trends, hidden patterns, and sequences in data sets, and the mind to interpret them into actionable insight. Without the right combination of knowledge and qualities, you may find business analytics to be a hard tackle. 

A business analyst may sometimes be required to undertake projects to deliver outputs that steer the business in the right direction. Business analytics can be hard where the business analyst encounters and is expected to overcome difficult challenges in the project and still deliver the expected results. Yet with the right toolset, mindset, and skills, no challenge is insurmountable. In other words, as a business analyst, you should be up for any challenge. 

Remember that large profitable companies like Google and Amazon have built their profitability on business analytics. It is not just about the numbers but the ability to interpret the information in data into actionable solutions and strategies.  

While there is a thin overlap between data analytics that involves the analysis of datasets to uncover hidden trends, patterns, and insights that are useful for informed decision-making. On the other hand, business analysis focuses on analyzing and interpreting the insight and information to make data-driven decisions. This means that business analysis may not be a highly technical career. Still, you need to have the basics of data analysis. 

Conclusion 

In an era where data rules, information, and insights from data inform decisions in many organizations. Business analytics has thus become an essential part of the business. Business analysts help companies leverage data insights to make informed decisions and improve their processes. The goal of business analysts should be to drive impact and influence change for the better in the organizations they work for. This requires them to be skilled in data exploration, modeling, visualization, and interpretation to effectively present opportunities for growth and profitability, ideas, and recommendations for improvement to stakeholders. For this reason, the role of the business analyst will continue to remain critical in business for a long time to come.