What Is Predictive Analytics and Why Is It Important?

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Predictive analytics professionals reviewing data

What if the data that organizations collect could be harnessed, restructured and used to accurately predict the buying behaviors of a company’s most loyal customers or how the right incentive could compel a customer to renew a subscription? Predictive analytics has the power to make tasks like these possible. Organizations need business analytics professionals skilled in transforming data into accessible information. The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers an online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) that provides graduates with the predictive analytics skills that employers seek.

What Is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics uses data and statistical techniques, such as machine learning (ML) and predictive modeling, to forecast outcomes. By examining patterns in large amounts of data, predictive analytics professionals can identify trends and behaviors in an industry. These predictions provide valuable insights that can lead to better-informed business and investment decisions.

How does predictive analytics transform data into meaningful, usable and actionable insights? Several technologies and methods make this possible: ML, data mining and statistical modeling, to name a few. With data mining, large data sets (big data) are sifted to uncover connections and discover relevant insights, which an organization uses to improve efficiency, increase profits and protect information. Advancements in tools like ML allow for professionals to use huge sets of data to calculate complex analyses, make assumptions, retest and then reassess a model, all without requiring additional programming.

Health care, manufacturing and other industries are increasingly looking to predictive analytics to help improve business performance. The health care industry could make huge advances in efficiency, patient care and health outcomes by broadening its use of predictive analytics. According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global healthcare analytics market was valued at approximately $1.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to generate around $4.2 billion by 2025, at compound annual growth rate of 14.56% between 2019 and 2025.

In manufacturing, predictive analytics models can increase efficiency and revenues. By forecasting the location and frequency of machine failures, predictive analytics can anticipate production delays. By projecting future demands, manufacturers can accurately order supplies, thereby reducing raw material waste.

What Is a Master of Science in Business Analytics?

Success in today’s business world requires expertise in data-driven strategies. An MSBA provides graduates with the advanced skills they need to fill data management leadership roles. The program focuses on building competencies that enable graduates to leverage data and predictive analytics to support business goals. These skills qualify them for upper management positions in various fields, from health care to cybersecurity.

Curriculum in a typical MSBA program includes core coursework in database management systems, data mining and predictive analytics. These courses cover the processes of gathering data, pattern recognition and interpretation of that data, and determining how to use that information to bolster wise business decision-making. An MSBA program prepares graduates to become business managers able to forecast production, consumer and financial outcomes prior to deciding on long-term and short-term business goals.

Gaining the Right Predictive Analytics Skills

An MSBA offers a rigorous curriculum to help students hone their analytical and technical skills, as well as their critical thinking and data management. Technical skills can be instrumental in building predictive models, while analytical skills help interpret the results.

Data-driven career opportunities and careers in predictive analytics abound for people with data analysis skills. Companies are looking to hire people to manage and uncover the value and meaning behind the information they are collecting. They need talented professionals to help them translate their data into increased revenue, better customer satisfaction, improved product quality and enhanced resource planning.

The University of Maryland’s online Master of Science in Business Analytics prepares graduates to enter dynamic and diverse industries. The degree curriculum begins with core courses that build knowledge of data analyzation methods and optimization of decision-making models. Core courses also teach fundamental concepts and skills in data management systems, the data mining process, and optimization and simulation modeling relevant to various industries. Advanced classes include strategy analytics and data processing and analysis in Python.

Succeeding with an Online MSBA

Completing an advanced degree like the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business online Master of Science in Business Analytics enables graduates to proficiently use analytical tools to gather insights into myriad business activities. As industries increasingly rely on data science to increase revenue, optimize marketing and maximize efficiency, professionals with the right education and skills stand to benefit substantially. Earning an MSBA can be an essential component of pursuing a successful business career.


Recommended Reading

How to Become a Data Analyst

Examining the Importance of Business Analytics

What Is a Management Analyst? Using Data Analytics to Improve Organizations



CIO, “What is Predictive Analytics? Transforming Data into Future Insights”

Data Driven Investor, “The Rise of Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Better Customer Prospecting”

Digital Health Today, “7 Ways Predictive Analytics Can Improve Healthcare”

Forbes, “Do You Know The Difference Between Data Analytics and AI Machine Learning?

Forbes, “Industrial Analytics Based on Internet of Things Will Revolutionize Manufacturing”

Investopedia, Predictive Analytics

University of Maryland, Online Master’s in Business Analytics

University of Maryland, Online Master of Science in Business Analytics Curriculum

Zion Market Research, “Global Healthcare Analytics Market Will Reach USD 4,217 Million By 2025”