Successful companies are harnessing the power of their own data and using this wealth of information to make solid, fact-based and strategic decisions. They do this by hiring qualified business analytics professionals who bring their data interpretation talents and an array of other skills to the table. A great business analyst can keep huge company projects on track, take complex data and make it easier to understand, manage stakeholder expectations and communicate well. A business analyst sees a company’s big picture – and every single detail in between.
According to a recent report from the UK government, there will be an estimated 243 percent increase in the number of people working in big data roles in the next five years. As this industry continues to grow, having a skilled business or data analyst on staff will be a huge asset. Here are 5 of the myriad ways a business analytics professional can help a company succeed:
1. Business Analytics professionals help companies save money.
This may be the biggest reason why a company should hire a business analyst. From optimising inventory to incorporating new and more efficient technical systems, a business analyst creates data modelling techniques and presents key solutions that foster positive change – often via a new product, process, or software programme. A great business analyst can collect opinions from many stakeholders, make a list of their priorities and create solid, data-based solutions – which takes the guesswork out of the process and eliminates the need for complex “go with your gut” situations. Business analysts don’t only solve problems; they can help improve a business’s internal processes as well by identifying specific areas of optimisation in business systems, IT systems, and more.
2. They bridge the gap between business and IT professionals.
Great business analysts are great communicators: They serve as the translators between jargon-speaking IT professionals and C-level executives. It’s an analyst’s job to help these two groups get on the same page. Often times, intense big data deep dives don’t always work for an executive who wants to know – in a succinct manner – what it all means. Enter the business analyst, who turns data into a potential problem-solving plan, and presents this to executives, often in the form of an easier-to-understand visual model.
3. Analysts help companies market to the correct target audience.
Data helps determine what works and what doesn’t; analysts understand first, and solve second. By analysing data to determine trends in customer behaviour, a business analyst can help predict how a company’s customers will continue to respond to marketing in the future, resulting in an increased ROI. This can be everything from determining exactly where a store’s retail location should go based on where previous clients live and work, to studying the exact times online users access their online shopping accounts and what they click on, which makes targeted advertising more efficient.
4. They can help a company find problems they might not know exist.
Business analysts are critical thinkers who can listen to a company’s leaders, look at data, and use various methodology models to solve already-established problems, but they can spot potential new problems as well. Business analysts know how to find the holes in big data – the gaps where future problems may occur. They don’t solve a problem if that solution will then create a dozen more issues in the future. Business analysts are always thinking about the big picture. They are agents of change.
5. Business analytics professionals help companies stay on track and ahead of the competition.
If a company knows how to take its data and turn it into a powerful decision-making tool – and their direct competitors don’t – they have an advantage. In an industry where the collection and use of data is becoming more and more common, it’s only a matter of time before everybody has a business analyst on their roster. Business analysts are multitalented superstars – they’re data analysers, communicators, project managers and critical thinkers. They can help companies make leaps and bounds in the industry.
Aston University’s MSc Business Analytics programme prepares students for analyst careers in a variety of industries – manufacturing, retail, health, education and more. Students will learn how to take complex data and analyse it to make powerful and effective decisions that will help a company’s future goals.