The new mantra for successful companies: Lead with data. By 2022, revenues for big data and business analytics solutions should reach $260 billion, reports the International Data Corporation. And according to the World Economic Forum, “complex problem solving” and “critical thinking” will be the two most valued job skills by 2020. Translation: Businesses not only want qualified analysts who can take their data, interpret it, and use it to make fact-based decisions – they need them too.
This big data boom makes the industry a lucrative one for students considering a career in the field. And while “business analyst” is one of the most common job titles, there are several other related specialised roles that students can pursue employment in as well. Here, a brief introduction to some of the most popular business analytics careers available today.
The most common job title when someone thinks of “business analytics,” a business analyst is a jack-of-all-trades: They’re hired to use data to create data modeling techniques and present key solutions that solve a business’s problem – then they work with various company stakeholders to incorporate the solutions. They must be able to communicate well with both high-level executives and IT professionals.
Companies currently hiring business analysts: BBC, Intel, Deloitte
Business analyst and data scientist job descriptions can look familiar, but data scientists tend to focus more on algorithms and statistics side than business analysts do. Data scientists dig deep into a database, organising, processing, and finding patterns in data via advanced software. They use data visualisation programmes to create data models that present their findings in an approachable manner. Data scientists tend to come from more of a computer science and mathematics background than business analysts.
Companies currently hiring data scientists: Facebook, Barclays, Airbus Group
Predictive Analyst, Predictive Modeller
These roles focus on data modelling – the actual building and visualisation of data-based solutions – to help predict future business needs, from improving marketing campaigns to reducing risk. Predictive modellers often have experience with big data ecosystems and cluster computing tools, and a working knowledge of SQL.
Companies currently looking for predictive analysts: Harnham, Cogs Agency
These analysts tend to work in the finance industry – with a bank or an investment company – and use big data to determine key patterns and solutions related to investing and risk management. Companies want employees with statistics, maths, and computing skills. A background in finance will help kickstart your career in this role
Companies currently hiring quantitative analysts: Citi, Deutsche Bank, Smartodds
Market Research Analyst
This is business analytics with a marketing focus – these employees take data and interpret it from a customer insight standpoint. The goal is to determine customer patterns and trends that marketing professionals can use to create and adapt their strategies. Some analytics education or background would be an advantage but companies also look for employees who have studied or worked in the marketing field as well.
Companies currently hiring market research analysts: Nielsen, PwC, Wirex
Think of an analytics consultant as a step above a business analyst. This person has a high-level of problem solving and communications skills and technical expertise. Some consultants work with a company in-house while others are freelance, called in to work on a specific project for a set amount of time. This role is ideal for those above entry level. Consultants are often expected to have an analytics background in a variety of fields from finance to retail. They need to understand the role of a business analyst but be able to approach business executives directly about solutions.
Companies currently hiring market analytics consultants: FICO, Tessella, Accenture
It’s important to note that many of these roles often overlap and not all business analyst positions have the same job description. The MSc Business Analytics programme at Aston University prepares students for analytics careers in all of the above fields. The programme’s faculty has worked with an array of private companies, governmental agencies, and consultancy companies and the comprehensive curriculum they’ve created reflects this experience. Enriching courses, guest lectures and a robust professional development programme help ready students for successful careers.
The job listings are all UK-based pulled from indeed.co.uk.