Companies of all sizes have started to understand the value of business analytics (BA), the operational and statistical analysis of company data. In addition to helping increase productivity, BA allows organizations to streamline processes and maximize profits.
Professionals who specialize in BA assist companies by providing them with insights that help drive decision-making. Those working in this field use data sets and predictive models in ways that help businesses gain a competitive advantage.
For those who have an affinity for analysis, strong listening and communication skills, and superior writing and documentation capabilities, a career in BA can be both rewarding and lucrative.
Those who find themselves wondering, is business analytics a good career? may be interested to learn that job opportunities in BA are growing fast.
The online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at the University of Maryland includes coursework in quantitative modeling, infrastructure management and data mining. The curriculum has been designed to provide future business analysts with the core competencies needed to be successful in this field.
Why educated analysts are in high demand
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that job growth projections for business analysts are strong.
From 2016 to 2026, the need for market research analysts is forecast to grow by 23%, for management analysts by 14% and for operations research analysts by 27%.
As organizations continue to adopt emerging technologies such as development operations, cloud computing and machine learning, the need for BA professionals will continue to grow.
How analysts help businesses grow and succeed
Companies have access to a seemingly endless sea of data. Skilled business analysts understand how to sort, view and use that data to solve problems and make decisions.
Data-driven insights help companies evolve product development in ways that proactively address their clients’ needs. They can also help an organization understand who is buying its product or service, along with the types of changes that have helped it gain or lose customers in the past. As competition in a field increases, attracting new customers becomes more challenging. Analysts are able to use data to identify ways to keep current clients while acquiring new ones.
Additionally, BA allows companies to segment their clients based on factors such as age, location and product usage. Not only does this help with messaging and advertising opportunities, but it can help an organization determine which customer segments are the most profitable. Organizations that are able to identify and focus on valuable clients find they have enhanced return on investment (ROI) capabilities.
Reasons MSBA graduates choose this field
Working as a business analyst is as challenging as it is rewarding, especially for those who enjoy finding solutions to complex problems.
Business analysts routinely seek ways to streamline processes, improve efficiency and, in some cases, augment product functionality. When a solution is derived, the recommended course of action is presented to management. This allows decision-makers to proceed with specific operational changes designed to solve the problem at hand.
Business analysts frequently collaborate with people from different departments as a means of finding solutions. They seek ways to help improve organizational efficiency while understanding that a solution that works today may need to be modified in the future.
As such, those who enjoy working in an environment that requires continuous evaluation and improvement find they are well-matched for a career in this field.
Working professionals who are wondering, is business analytics a good career? should know that the earning potential for experienced business analysts is significant.
Data from the BLS shows that in May 2017, the median annual wage for market research analysts it was $63,230 and for operational research analysts it was $81,390.
Business analytics candidates may be interested to learn that earners with salaries in the top 10% of the range for these fields take home in excess of $122,270. Those who have obtained an MSBA degree often find their advanced education helps augment their earning potential.
The online MSBA degree at the University of Maryland has been designed to prepare students to use large amounts of data for forecasting, prediction and managerial decision-making. The program offers coursework in the areas of healthcare and market research analytics. Graduates are likely to find the expertise gained from the program helps position them for higher pay, stronger job security and enhanced leadership opportunities.
Discover how the online MSBA program at the University of Maryland can help you toward a career in business analytics.