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Why Study Business Analytics

Apr 16, 2024
4 min Read

In the world of business, data is the foundation around which marketers develop plans, product managers refine their offerings and CEOs set a company’s strategic direction.

But data is just numbers and bits of information without the help of someone who can process and analyze it. That’s why there is an ever-growing need for people who have studied business analytics.

This is evidenced by the fact that business analytics is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of data scientists is expected to grow 35% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations; and employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow 23% from 2022 to 2032, also much faster than the average.

In this article, we’ll look at what business analytics is, what business analysts do and who would be a good fit for a degree or certificate program in this field.

What is business analytics?

Business analytics is the study of data to drive business performance as well as the practice of analyzing and processing data using technology with business value in mind. It asks and answers questions such as, “What is the business problem?” and “How do we use data to solve it?”

An article in the Journal of Business Analytics takes this definition even further, explaining that “business analytics is a systematic thinking process that applies qualitative, quantitative and statistical computational tools and methods to analyze data, gain insights, inform and support decision-making.”

Like many professions, the field of business analytics has changed over the years. In the past, business analytics relied mostly on descriptive modeling techniques based on historical performance data to describe what happened.

However, advances in computing and technology have allowed today’s businesses to incorporate a variety of models, including predictive and prescriptive data analytics techniques. According to an article in the journal Data, “Business entities can build on the functionalities of descriptive analytics to move on to predictive analytics, to forecast future events using what-if analyses and models.”

What does a business analyst do?

Business analysts assess, manipulate, analyze and create business value utilizing data.

Business analytics is applicable to a variety of business areas, including sales, marketing, finance, operations and customer service. The demand for business analysts grows as more companies realize that there is value to be garnered out of data.

In addition, the emergence of cost-effective AI technology is driving a revolution in data analytics and business analytics. Professional organizations, such as the International Institute of Business Analysis, predict this will cause a need for business analysts who understand and can speak to both the pitfalls and possibilities of the technology.

Jobs within business analytics may include:

  • Data scientist
  • Data engineer
  • Operations research analyst
  • Predictive modeling analyst
  • Business intelligence engineer
  • Data visualization analyst
  • Data science analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Business intelligence (BI) developer
  • Business data analyst

Who is a good fit for a business analytics program?

Whether you’re considering getting a master’s degree or a graduate certificate in business analytics, these programs are best suited for individuals who have a strong background and interest in quantitative fields.

With this kind of experience, you may come into a business analytics program with preconceived notions about business or data. But it’s important to keep an open mind and have a willingness to learn new skills.

According to O*Net OnLine, some skills that are helpful to work in business analytics include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Speaking/communication
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Persuasion
  • Systems analysis and evaluation

Grow your career by earning a master’s or certificate in business analytics

Data is extremely valuable to businesses but only if the right people are extracting the right information from it. With a career in business analytics, you could be pivotal in helping your company make sense of their data in meaningful ways.

Either an online Master of Science in Business Analytics or Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics from Creighton University will help you learn the skills you need to enter this growing field or further an existing career in business analytics. You’ll learn data analytics, database management systems and more, all through a lens of spirited inquiry, social justice and service to others—adhering to Creighton’s Jesuit values.

Learn more about Creighton’s online master's in business analytics or Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, or contact us to request more information.


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