Corporate America is just beginning to realize the full potential of data analytics in day-to-day operations. At first, Big Data seemed to be applicable only to marketing departments and, to a lesser extent, product development. In 2017, data is fueling everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to human resources and recruitment, public utilities, healthcare, education, manufacturing, transportation, banking and finance, insurance, and cyber security.
Students enrolled in a masters in business analytics or a masters in data analytics program can be very well positioned when they either enter the job market or apply for a higher position at their current place of employment.
IBM predicts that the number of jobs available to data professionals in the United States is going to increase 28 percent to more than 2.7 million positions. Over half of those will be in the finance, insurance, professional services, and information technology (IT). Almost 40 percent of advanced analytics positions require at least a master’s degree, according to tech writer Louis Columbus in his 2017 Forbes article, “IBM Predicts Demand For Data Scientists Will Soar 28% by 2020.”
Why Is The Demand Increasing?
When the data revolution began to take shape and analytics became an established discipline, most businesses saw only the limited marketing research potential of Big Data. As time progressed, some of the more innovative companies began to realize that data analytics’ reach extended far beyond simple advertising.
The number of ways that data can be used to gain valuable business decision-making insight is limited only by the imagination. “The Data Doc” Thomas C. Redman, a successful data consultant, highlights the myriad ways in which companies can maximize their use of data in his Harvard Business Review article, “Does Your Company Know What To Do With All Its Data?” Here are some of Redman’s points:
- Innovative products, services, and processes are blossoming from data-driven insights that better reflect the wants and needs of clients or customers. These insights help companies to develop better, more efficient products and services.
- Products, services, and processes can be “informationalized,” meaning that new products and services can be designed so that their use delivers even more valuable information back to the business’s decision-makers.
- More accurate data can be used to find and eliminate errors and to make improvements and adjustments that otherwise might have been missed. The more precise and informative the data, the more it can improve quality, reduce or eliminate costs, and build trust between businesses and consumers.
- Data can also be used to provide valuable content to customers, clients, readers, and partners. A company’s data will be extremely valuable not just to the company itself, but also to others, from stakeholders to subscribers.
- Infomediation, or the process of connecting the data produced by a company with other companies that might find that data useful, can result in revenue generated by the sale of unneeded data to other organizations that can benefit from it.
- Companies that wish to remain competitive can exploit the asymmetries of Big Data by going into every transaction or business deal better informed than their opponents. The party with the greater degree of knowledge will very likely come out on top.
Corporations pursuing such avenues of data analytics need qualified, educated candidates to fill the many positions needed to maximize their data capabilities.
Which Candidates Are CEOs Looking For?
An education in business data analytics is just the beginning of the journey toward a great career in the data industry. CEOs and corporate human resources departments are looking for both analytics skills, such as a working knowledge of PYTHON or R programming languages, and competencies, such as the ability to learn new programming languages and programs, according to the PWC.com report, “What’s Next For The 2017 Data Science And Analytics Job Market?”
“CEOs tell us they’re looking for employees who can problem-solve in technology-rich environments and link their work to business value,” PWC.com explains in its report. Applicants who demonstrate strong proficiencies in communication, creativity, and teamwork will also rise to the top of the candidate pool.
An ability to work well with others and a creative mind, however, are not enough to land a great analytics job. A thorough, up-to-date education in business data analytics by an accredited university is still immensely important to hiring managers.
Large, data-centric corporations are working to influence educational institutes and policymakers to dedicate resources to analytics educational programs. Many companies are stepping up their recruitment activities, especially on university campuses and through college placement services.
“A significant number of employers hire individuals to analyze data in multiple areas, including information technology, marketing, advertising and sales, supply chain and operations, and customer service,” claims the American Statistical Association (ASA) in its 2016 report “New National Survey By SHRM Shows Employers Struggling To Meet Growing Demand For Data Analytics” on ThisIsStatistics.com.
“One in two organizations use data analysis in business and administrative functions,” the ASA says, “while more than half (54 percent) of human resources departments have at least one data analysis position.”
As Big Data grows larger and encompasses more fields of study and more disciplines, students with a background in other departments, or minors in other areas, are now finding that they are very attractive to corporate recruiters. Combining a data analytics education with knowledge of marketing, HR, cyber security, transportation, and customer service, for example, is a wise move for a student pursuing a career in business data analytics.
Maryville University’s Master Degree In Business Data Analytics
The demand for business analytics experts lies at the heart of Maryville University’s online Master’s of Science in Business Data Analytics degree. Graduates of this online program can be fully prepared to enter the workforce as a statistician, data scientist, data analyst, or actuary.
At Maryville University, students learn how to handle datasets, orchestrate multiple infrastructures, monetize data, and make decisions based on valuable analytics insights. Graduates will be exposed to the training they need to combine business operational data with the latest analytical tools, making them invaluable to employers.