The use of data to drive business decisions grows more popular every year. As technologies evolve and business intelligence tools continue to develop, businesses view using data as critical to compete in the marketplace. As a result, businesses need professionals who can successfully analyze and leverage data and transform it into actionable insight. Today, industries such as health care, hospitality, retail, insurance, telecommunications, travel and others strategically use data to improve their processes, services and products.
For this reason, businesses from a range of industries regularly seek skilled individuals who hold advanced degrees in business analytics. The online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers coursework designed to develop technical skills and cultivate knowledge in subjects including data mining, social media analytics and data processing. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter a variety of statistician careers that expertly use data to help businesses thrive.
Those holding an MSBA can potentially work in a number of careers. Below are some positions that demand the training MSBA degree holders possess:
Data analysts use different software and systems to discover patterns and correlations in data which they can transform into actionable insights. Data analysts help harness data to achieve benefits such as cost reduction, risk reduction and improved customer satisfaction. They communicate their findings in accessible formats to stakeholders by converting key information into structured, visual presentations. Through their analyses, they must help their businesses understand potential impacts to processes or operations. Successful data analysts possess key skills to accomplish their duties including:
- Business acumen
- Knowledge of advanced information technologies
- Skills in data visualization
- Critical thinking
According to Investopedia, an insufficient number of skilled data analysts has created an attractive employment field. Professionals who possess expertise in data analysis are in a position to command high salaries and find work in many industries. PayScale lists the average salary for data analysts at $59,202 a year, but top earners can make up to $83,000 a year.
Financial analysts examine current and historical financial data to guide investment decisions for businesses and individuals. Their work includes following trends in business and the economy, as well as evaluating financial statements of similar companies. They also follow the stock and bond market to measure performance. Some financial analysts focus on advising companies on where to invest their funds. Other financial analysts aid those selling financial service products. Both roles require the ability to write reports and take into account applicable regulations, policies and trends that may impact investments. To be successful, financial analysts must demonstrate:
- Math skills
- Detail orientation
- Computer knowledge
- Decision-making abilities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the market for financial analysts will grow 6percent from 2018 to 2028. Financial analysts will likely face competition for employment. Possessing an advanced degree such as an MSBA can help improve job prospects. The BLS reports the median annual salary for financial analysts is $85,660.
Cybersecurity analysts protect the computer networks of organizations from cyber attacks. They accomplish this by both designing and administering preventive and responsive measures for security breaches. This involves utilizing software to safeguard data, conducting simulated attacks on their own systems to locate vulnerabilities and surveying their company’s network for irregularities. Cybersecurity analysts guide their companies in best practices for safeguarding data, as well as for installing and using new network products and upgrades. They also help develop plans to contain, repair and recover from cybersecurity attacks. To compete successfully, cybersecurity analysts must possess:
- An advanced knowledge of analytics and IT security
- Attention to detail
- Deep expertise in computers
The World Economic Forum’s “Global Risk Report 2019” lists cyberattacks as one of the most pressing threats the world currently faces. As a result, the BLS projects a 32percent growth rate from 2018 to 2028 for information security analysts. The median salary for cybersecurity analysts is $98,350 a year, according to the BLS.
Sports Analytics Specialist
This position helps sport organizations use data and statistics to build successful teams and improve team performance. By collecting and analyzing data from games, such as the speed and path of a baseball pitch or the movement of players on a basketball court, sports analytics specialists can advise teams on what will improve their chances of winning. Information from scouting reports, medical histories and coaching assessments also factor into the analyses. Sports analytics specialists can create statistical models that measure the value of players and predict their performances. This information can help a team make strategic decisions about how to play a game or what players to use. To succeed, sports analytics specialists need to excel in:
- Technical knowledge
- Quantitative skills
- Communication skills
- Sports knowledge
The market for sports analytics is expected to reach nearly $4 billion by 2022, according to the study “Worldwide Sports Analytics Market (2016-2022).” This means sports analytics specialists will likely find a growing need for their expertise. ZipRecruiter reports the average annual salary for sports analytics specialists at $92,616.
Statistical consultants make evidence-based decisions and resolve problems by conducting statistical analyses and research. Depending on where they work, a statistical consultant may help the government determine employment rates or assist a car manufacturer in conducting engine experiments. The work of statistical consultants requires developing statistical models, creating surveys for data collection, searching for trends and relationships within data and measuring the veracity of the data collected. This often involves using software that is specifically designed for statistical analysis. Statistical consultants need skills in:
- Complex problem-solving
- Critical thinking
- Foresight and predictive thinking
The BLS expects statistical analysis to increase dramatically in sectors such as health care and business, driving a projected 30 percent job growth within the field through 2028. In addition, superior data analysis and quantitative skills will provide even more favorable job prospects for statistical consultants. Glassdoor reports their average annual salary as $59,196.
Biostatisticians work with pharmaceutical companies, health care facilities and public health agencies. They conduct experiments to determine the effectiveness of drugs and identify the origins of disease or illness outbreaks. Using statistical approaches and modeling, they interpret clinical and survey data to draw conclusions about biology-related issues. Biostatisticians utilize software and computer systems to compile, categorize and analyze information. They also translate their findings into accessible information for other health care stakeholders. Biostatisticians must possess strong skills in the following areas:
- Medical software
- Complex problem-solving
- Critical thinking
Working within the statistical field, biostatisticians are projected to enjoy a 30 percent job growth rate through 2028, according to the BLS. PayScale lists their annual average salary at $76,072 and reports that strong skills in research and SAS software can favorably affect salaries.
Learn More About Statistician Careers
Today’s business landscape relies heavily on professionals skilled in the use of data. Those who possess the proper expertise to analyze and interpret data stand to gain considerably in the current job market. Discover how the online Master of Science in Business Analytics from Maryland Smith can prepare students for opportunities in a variety of statistician careers.