Business analytics courses to advance your career
It’s hard to dispute the growing importance of business analytics in the workplace, which makes taking a business analytics course a useful area of study.
According to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey 2020, almost half of respondents (47%) say the pandemic has permanently accelerated digital transformation and the adoption of emergent technologies. Among the top five important technology investments for companies include “systems of insight”, such as business intelligence.
Harvard Business School Professor Jan Hammond, who teaches an online business analytics course, opined, “The ability to bring data-driven insights into decision-making is extremely powerful — all the more so given all the companies that can’t hire enough people who have these capabilities.”
Business analytics helps companies, big or small, make informed business decisions. A McKinsey study notes that data and analytics indicate that an increasing share of companies is using data and analytics to generate growth.
“Data monetisation, as a means of such growth, is still in its early days — though the results suggest that the fastest-growing companies (our high performers) are already ahead of their peers,” it said.
What exactly is business analytics?
Harvard Business Review describes business analytics as, “the use of math and statistics to derive meaning from data in order to make better business decisions”.
Data provides companies with insights, which can guide their decisions and result in better ROI and improved efficiency or other desired outcomes. This fusion of business and technology makes it both an interesting and challenging field of study for those who enjoy working with data.
Many companies are already using some form of data and analytics for their business.
Meal kit delivery service Blue Apron, for instance, presents its subscribers with a fixed menu of meals available for purchase and employs predictive analytics to forecast demand, using data to avoid product spoilage and fulfill orders.
“By employing predictive analytics to better understand customers, Blue Apron has been able to improve its user experience, identify how subscriber tastes change over time, and recognise how shifting preferences are impacted by recipe offerings,” said HBS.
Business analytics courses
From free online programmes to executive education and master’s programmes, there is a myriad of ways to upskill in business analytics.
If you have zero experience in the field, Coursera’s Business Analytics Specialization course is ideal for beginners as it provides an introduction to big data analytics for all business professionals, including those with no prior analytics experience.
Students can expect to learn how data analysts describe, predict, and inform business decisions in the specific areas of marketing, human resources, finance, and operations, in addition to developing basic data literacy and an analytic mindset that will help you make strategic decisions based on data.
You can find many business analytics-related courses in universities.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin School of Business, for instance, offers Intro to Business Analytics – Quantitative Methods, which will help you develop a solid understanding of the basic concepts underlying quantitative analysis and business statistics, strengthen your ability to frame and formulate management decision problems, interpret and evaluate data that relates to business and process improvement problems, to name a few.
There are a growing number of postgraduate programmes in business analytics, including MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics, which is a year-long programme that prepares students for careers that apply and manage modern data science to solve critical business challenges.
The course is ideal for current students or recent college graduates who plan to pursue a career in the data science industry, and those seeking career advancement or change, especially engineers, mathematicians, physicists, computer programmers, and other high-tech professionals.
Depending on the programme you enrol in, a business analytics course will hone your analytical skills and teach you to apply statistical analysis that can be applied across different industries and companies.